The ASEM Education Process


The ASEM Education Process is organized at two levels: the political level includes ministerial commitment with representation at ministerial meetings. At the stakeholders’ level, dialogue continues with policy makers and experts within different cooperation platforms and events.

The initiatives that are taken and activities organized under de stakeholder level, can be classified under 2 pillars: the dialogue-oriented pillar and the result-oriented pillar. The first pillar represents the dialogue-oriented cooperation, providing a platform for mutual learning and exchange of experiences strengthening mutual understanding and providing incentives for education policy and strategy developments at institutional, national and regional level. The second pillar represents the result-oriented cooperation composed of tangible activities and measures. Furthermore, the initiatives are categorized under 4 different priority themes

At political level:

A conference of ministers responsible for education is held every second year. Its main role is to facilitate political commitment, set the policy agenda and steer the activities of this dialogue process. Each Ministerial Conference is prepared during two Senior Officials’ Meetings, which are chaired by the host country of the respective Ministerial Conference and supported by the ASEM Education Secretariat (AES). In the Ministerial Conferences, only the Heads of Delegation have the right to speak. Observers (e.g. international organisations) may attend the meetings on invitation of the host country. Get an overview of past Asia-Europe Meetings of Ministers for Education (ASEMMEs). 

At stakeholder level:

A continuous dialogue takes place with policymakers, thematic experts and other stakeholders discussing education topics. Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the ASEM Lifelong Learning Hub (ASEM LLL Hub), ASEAN University Network (AUN), the European Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), the European Student Union (ESU), the European University Association (EUA), the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization’s (SEAMEO) Regional Centre for Vocational & Technical Education & Training (VOCTECH). Experts meet regularly to share experiences, present examples of good practice, and contribute to policy discussions and the implementation of reform measures. Most initiatives for bringing these experts together are taken by different ASEM member states with the support of the AES. Valuable input is also given by ASEF’s ASEM Education Hub (AEH) through the ASEM Rectors’ Conference (ARC), Asia-Europe Education Workshops, and the ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning (ASEM LLL Hub). More information on the activities and events can be found here

ASEM Education Ministerial Meetings (ASEMME)

Since its inception in 1996, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) has continuously adjusted itself to ensure relevance and growth of the partnership between the partners amidst the global and regional changes. ASEM collaboration have been guided by 3 areas of common interest: political, economic, and socio-cultural and educational dimensions, referred to as the ASEM Three Pillars. Within the third pillar, Education Ministers from the ASEM member countries meet regularly to advance transregional educational collaboration (ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting or ASEMME). The ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting (ASEMME) is a platform for informal dialogue and collaboration among the ASEM members at highest political level. ASEMME convenes every other year, with the initial meeting held in Berlin on 5-6 May 2008.

The Ministers mandated the Senior Officials to meet annually to discuss issues of common interest, to review the results of the implemented ASEM education activities and agree on priority areas and joint activities for the next two years. Since ASEMME4, an Intermediate Senior Officials’ Meeting (ISOM) has been organised to encourage collaboration among the ASEM members and stakeholder organisations, to oversee the implementation of the ASEM activities and to elaborate proposals for further development of the ASEM Education Process.


Summary of Key Results and Objectives of each ASEMME

MeetingThemeResults and/or objectives
5-6 May 2008 Berlin, Germany
Education and training for tomorrow: Common perspectives in Asia and Europe
  • Set-up a strategic Asia-Europe education partnership
  • Highlight the role of education and training for qualified human resources and economic and social development
14-15 May 2009 Hanoi, Viet Nam
Sharing experience and best practices on higher education
  • Support transnational initiatives to facilitate Asia-Europe mobility
  • Promote professional development and curriculum innovation in vocational education and training
  • Establish the ASEM Education Secretariat
  • Agree to hold ASEMME biannually
9-10 May 2011 Copenhagen, Denmark
Shaping an ASEM Education Area
  • Adopt four priorities:

    1. quality assurance and recognition
    2. engaging business and industry in education
    3. balanced mobility
    4. lifelong learning including technical and vocational education and training
  • Develop a stocktaking report of the ASEM Education Process
13-14 May 2013 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Strategizing ASEM Education Collaboration
  • Define concrete activities to put policy into practice
  • Organise a yearly Senior Officials’ Meeting
27-28 April 2015 Riga, Latvia
ASEM Education Collaboration for Results
  • The meeting highlighted the global developments and their impact on education policies in ASEM countries;
  • Exchange of good practice and ideas for further joint cooperation in line with the themes: “Investing in Skill Development for Increased Employability” and “New Learning Technologies in Education – Opportunities in Education and ASEM Collaboration”.
  • Main priorities and activities were defined
  • Two-pillar system of activities was introduced: (1) dialogue-oriented (platform for mutual learning and exchange of experiences); and (2) result-oriented (tangible activities and measures) cooperation.
21-22 November 2017, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Collaboration for the Next Decade: From Common Perspectives to Effective Fulfillment  

Progress of ASEM Education Initiatives 2015-2017

The Conclusions drawn by the Chair of ASEMM5 in Riga, Latvia (27-28 April 2015), highlights the strategic role of education and the importance of keeping the ASEM Education Process as multifaceted and multipurpose process. Furthermore, 27 actionable initiatives were defined within the four priority areas of ASEM Education Process (9 initiatives under pillar 1 ‘dialogue-oriented activities’ and 18 initiatives under pillar 2 ‘result-oriented cooperation). Each of the ASEM members and stakeholders are invited to launch new initiatives and/or volunteer to coordinate the endorsed initiatives. Some ASEM-affiliated organisations, such as Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning (ASEM LLL Hub) or the ASEM Duo Fellowship Programme run projects throughout the year that provide an essential contribution to the four priorities.

An overview of all initiatives as well the progress of these initiatives can be found in the stocktaking report.