Bonn, Germany: ASEM ministers responsible for education who convened for their third ministerial conference (ASEMME3) on 9 – 10 May 2011, at Copenhagen, Denmark, “laid emphasis on strengthening interregional cooperation in the field of external quality assurance between quality assurance agencies and networks in Asia and Europe by organising joint meetings, with a view to develop common principles of quality assurance across the ASEM education area”. Germany’s offer to host a first expert seminar this year was welcomed

In accordance with the Chair’s Conclusions of the 3rd Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education held in Copenhagen, the German Ministry of Education and Research invited international experts for external quality assurance in highereducation. In Bonn, about 50 representatives fromAsian and European quality assurance agencies and networks discussed ways to develop commonprinciples of quality assurance across the ASEM education area.

During the two-day seminar, participants focussedtheir discussions on quality assurance tools and mechanisms implemented in Asia and Europe. They pointed out the different perspectives andapproaches and tried to find ways to enhancemutual understanding. Several workshops and sessions dealt with external and internal qualityassurance instruments, their meaning and implementation in the different regions. One aim of the seminar was to make the audience aware ofthese tools, to create more transparency, and to share good practices.

Amongst others, participants agreed that inter-regional cooperation in quality assuranceneeds national commitment as well as governments’ financial assistance and asked the ASEM Education Secretariat to forward therecommendations to the Ministries of Education.

Within the framework of the seminar, participants were informed about the QA-SEAN initiative –taken by the German Academic Exchange Service(DAAD), the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), together with the ASEAN University Network(AUN), the ASEAN Quality Assurance Network (AQAN), the European Network for Quality Assurance (ENQA) and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization RegionalCentre for Higher Education and Developments (SEAMEO RIHED).

Prior to the ASEM Seminar, the parties signed an agreement for the joint implementation of a capacity developmentproject in the field of quality assurance (QA). The primary aim of ASEAN-QA project is to assure andenhance the quality of study programmes and tofacilitate the recognition of credits and degrees based on shared quality assurance principles and standards. The project includes multi-part training courses which are directed at quality assurance coordinators at universities and officers of quality assurance agencies in the ASEAN region. Bothgroups will be trained in the upcoming three yearsby a team of international trainers from Asia and Europe.

Participants agreed that it is worth observing the QA-SEAN project and that developments and progress should be presented in a follow-up seminar which was already announced for 2012 by the French representative.

The ASEM Education Secretariat will also regularly give updates regarding the project development.



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