The First ASEAN Student Mobility Forum was successfully held on 14-15 June 2017 in Manila, Philippines with over 200 participants from all ASEAN countries. Co-organised by SHARE and the Philippines Commission on Higher Education (CHED, and with support from the Philippines National Organising Commission for ASEAN 2017, the Forum was opened by CHED Chairperson Patricia Licuanan, ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, and First Secretary of the EU Delegation to the Philippines Jerome Riviere.
The Forum brought together ASEAN students and alumni who are recipients of SHARE scholarships in ASEAN institutions or other related initiatives such as the ASEAN International Mobility for Students (AIMS) by SEAMEO RlHED and student mobility programmes by the AUN-ACTS, as well as Erasmus+ between ASEAN and Europe. Participants included students and alumni who participated in academic mobility programmes within and outside the ASEAN region. And because student mobility happens in an institutional context, forum participants also include representatives of ASEAN governments, managers of universities in ASEAN, and representatives of relevant regional organisations.
The Forum was organised in support of ASEAN’s vision of building a truly people-centred community and the growing awareness and involvement of ASEAN students in building and promoting the ASEAN Community. It was also part of a series of events in 2017 commemorating 50 Years of ASEAN, 40 Years of ASEAN-EU Relations, and 30 Years of Erasmus+. Finally, the Forum was part of SHARE’s series of Policy Dialogue events, with which the programme supports the emerging ASEAN Higher Education Area by engaging with policymakers, universities and students.
The Forum’s outcomes can be summarised in five points:
- The Forum provided opportunities for ASEAN students to share experiences, insights, and challenges in student mobility, thus highlighting and addressing successes and barriers of people-to-people mobility and connectivity.
- The Forum documented, perpetuated and promoted the gains of student mobility, thus encouraging greater support of governments, partners and other stakeholders in pushing for deeper socio-cultural integration in ASEAN through people-to-people mobility.
- The focus of the Forum was on intra-regional student mobility in ASEAN, as opposed to inter-regional and international student mobility. Erasmus+ served as case-study and provided lessons learned and best practices. The forum outlined a strategy to map and quantify intra-ASEAN student mobility flows and scholarship frameworks.
- TheForum gathered feedback to further improve efficient and effective implementation of the ASEAN scholarship scheme, particularly on the aspects of quality, affordability, practicality and It further explored the creation of an ASEAN/SHARE student alumni network.
- The Forum supported ASEAN university students in their efforts to build a regional structure of university student council unions, in view of establishing a representative student voice that can be part of shaping the ASEAN Higher Education Area with the ASEAN Scholarship at its core.
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