The Second ASEAN Plus Three Education Ministers Meeting (2nd APT EMM) was held on 12 September 2014 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, in conjunction with the Eighth ASEAN Education Ministers Meeting (8th ASED) and the Second East Asia Summit Education Ministers Meeting (2nd EAS EMM). The Meeting was preceded by the 5th ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials Meeting (5th SOM-ED+3) held on 10 September 2014 in Vientiane.
The Meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Phankham Viphavanh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Sports, Lao PDR and H.E. Hwang Wooyea, Minister of Education Republic of Korea (ROK). The Meeting was attended by Ministers and Senior Officials responsible for Education of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. The ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN University Network (AUN) Secretariat, and the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Secretariat, were also in attendance.
The Ministers welcomed the launch of the ASEAN State of Education Report 2013 and noted the importance of having a baseline against which to measure future performance in the area of education cooperation in the region. The Ministers noted the ASOER’s role in highlighting the importance of education in achieving developmental goals, as well as its impact towards achieving equitable economic development and shared prosperity. With less than a year before the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015, the Ministers are committed to prioritising the key areas of connectivity, mobility, human resource development, IT and English Language training which are keys to enhancing human development in ASEAN. The Ministers agreed on the need to strengthen CLMV’s capabilities towards increasing the education profile and active participation at the APT framework.
The Ministers affirmed the general objective of the ASEAN Plus Three Plan of Action on Education (2010-2017) is to encourage APT member countries to expand their efforts in implementing the Plan at the national and bilateral levels to the regional level.
The Ministers welcomed the convening of the “1st Working Group on Mobility of Higher Education and Ensuring Quality Assurance of Higher Education among ASEAN Plus Three Countries” in September 2013 in Tokyo, Japan and the further progress toward the 2nd Working Group in October 2014 in Bali, Indonesia.
The Ministers welcomed Japan’s report on the initiative to support Japanese universities’ educational collaboration with universities in the APT countries. The Ministers also welcomed China’s Report of the First APT Rector’s Conference in Peking University in 2012.
The Ministers acknowledged the increasing importance of e-learning and IT literacy in the modern world and welcomed ROK’s progress on the ASEAN Cyber University project whose 3-phase process will be implemented based on the evaluation by the ACU Secretariat by 2020.
The Ministers welcomed ROK’s plans to launch “Training courses for ASEAN engineering students” to gain first-hand experiences in local Korean universities and businesses, and to hold “ASEAN-Korea Rectors’ Forum” in December 2014 in Busan to celebrate the 25 years of ASEAN-Korea relations.
The Ministers welcomed the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), to be held in November 2014 in Japan and expected further promotion of ESD beyond 2014.
The Ministers welcomed the UNESCO World Education Forum, to be held in the ROK in May 2015 and expected further promotion of post-2015 EFA agenda in the APT countries and elsewhere in the world.
The Ministers agreed that education cooperation under APT requires a coordination mechanism and requested SOM-ED+3 to explore it further. In addition, given the regional education cooperation activities under ASEAN, ASEAN Plus Three and the East Asia Summit, The Ministers acknowledged Senior Officials on Education efforts to look at coordinating mechanism to avoid duplication and ensure that the three frameworks are working closely to achieve respective objectives and ensure efficiency in the allocation of resources as well as in the scheduling of meetings.
The Ministers took note of the AUN progress report under the ASEAN Plus Three University Network, including the activities of the AUN/SEED-Net.
The Ministers welcomed Malaysia’s hosting of the 3rd APT EMM in conjunction with the 9th ASED and the 3rd EAS EMM in 2016.
The Ministers expressed their appreciation to Lao PDR for the warm hospitality extended to the delegates and the excellent arrangements made in hosting the 2nd APT EMM. The Ministers also expressed their appreciation to the ASEAN Secretariat for its valuable contributions to the meeting.