EU Support to Higher Education in ASEAN Region (SHARE)

The British Council with Campus France, DAAD, ENQA, EUA and EP-NUFFIC have joined in partnership 1) to enhance the harmonisation of the ASEAN higher education (HE) area through the formulation of ASEAN HE frameworks, taking into account the EU experience and work already underway across the ASEAN area through international partnerships and 2) to support mutual recognition and student mobility among higher education institutions (HEIs) in the ASEAN area to strengthen people-to-people connectivity.

ENQA’s role in the project is to strengthen the existing ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework with a more inclusive focus on HE and strategically link it with national and institutional purposes across the ASEAN area. ENQA will be mainly responsible for executing the reviews of agencies. It will also provide expertise to the working group on QA, which will develop guidelines to operationalise the existing AQAFHE standards for both QA agency reviews and for external institutional reviews, mapping their comparability and compatibility with similar regional frameworks (e.g. ESG). Results will enhance the quality of HE across the ASEAN area and link more closely with the demands of the labour market and society in general.

1 January 2015 to 31 December 2018 (48 months)

British Council
Campus France

The goal of this programme is to strengthen regional cooperation, enhance the quality, regional competitiveness and internationalisation of ASEAN HEIs and students, contributing to an ASEAN Community in 2015 and beyond.

At the core of this action is a desire to enhance cooperation between the EU and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and create lasting benefit from the harmonisation of HE across the ASEAN area. Realisation of AEC integration by 2015 will facilitate the free flow of goods, services, investments, capital and skilled labour. Truly successful integration will be largely dependent on effective human resource development and people-to-people exchanges, with HE playing an important role in supporting this. In this increasingly globalised and competitive world, international collaboration is vital to helping countries prosper. Higher education systems across the ASEAN area are under pressure from governments to drive economic growth and to prepare the next generation of graduates with the appropriate skill sets and competencies to encourage innovation and creativity in key industries and commerce.

A video from the inaugural policy dialogue appears below. More content is available on SHARE’s youtube channel.

At the heart of the SHARE project lies a combination of approaches and methods to implement a strategy for shaping student talent development in relation to the specific objectives:

  • to enhance the harmonisation of ASEAN HE area through the formulation of ASEAN HE frameworks taking into account the EU experience and work already underway across ASEAN through international partnerships
  • to support mutual recognition and student mobility among HEIs in ASEAN to strengthen people-to-people connectivity

Fulfilment of these objectives will enhance the quality, internationalisation and competitiveness of ASEAN HEIs and other regional HE agencies and structures, improving intra-ASEAN and international mobility and enhancing the student experience.

It is expected as part of our interventions that the following will take place:

  1. Sharing and management of knowledge through baselines, policy dialogues, websites, publications and high level steering groups
  2. Capacity-building through organisational development and participatory workshop and training approaches
  3. Brokering a common understanding and approaches to harmonisation issues and benefits
  4. Facilitating people-to-people exchanges.

The ‘delivery model’ will be as follows:

Evidence Based:
The baseline will enable activities to be modified and finessed during early implementation so that they are fit for purpose, supportive of beneficiary activities and progress to date and enable the most effective use of programme resources. This will also enable logframe indicators to be reviewed and finalised so that improvements in the strengthening of regional co-operation, enhancements in quality and regional competitiveness and internationalisation of ASEAN higher education institutions can be monitored and evaluated successfully.

Policy briefs will be prepared to steer, guide and direct discussions at high level policy dialogues. Briefs will set out the current state of affairs on the particular topic and provide insights from Europe and ASEAN to provide comparative analyses that help participants think through complex situations and scenarios and formulate ideas and solutions in support of programme objectives.

Participatory Project Planning:
Discussions will explore key result areas and agree a common approach enabling programme beneficiaries to support agenda setting and contribute to harmonisation efforts, supporting HE framework development. The project will involve key ASEAN actors in QA and QF task forces, consult SEAMEO in case study selection and ensure EU-SHARE major events feed in to ASEAN events calendars, for example. This will build on our existing close collaboration with ASEAN organisations and build on work already underway by AUN, AQAN and task forces.

Through EU – ASEAN policy dialogues, seminars, workshops and meetings, EU experience will be explored to identify lessons learned through the Bologna process, providing important insight for the development of ASEAN HE harmonisation as well as important lessons from ASEAN for the future of EU HE policy. Best practice from within ASEAN will also be shared through these exchanges which will provide particular benefit for the CLMV nations and enable them to explore local solutions to their needs.

Organisational development and capacity-building to build a sustainable legacy:
EU financial support through this programme is finite, so capacity-building will therefore be a significant element on all key result areas and will be tailored to the needs of individual national organisations and agencies as well as regional organisations supporting harmonisation efforts. HEIs will form a critical element in capacity-building efforts, and support will be provided across all key result areas to strengthen them in support of the programme objectives. Capacities within national QA Agencies and HEIs will increase through tailored assessments; within the context of Training of Trainers activities, a pool of experts will be created to further disseminate the project results even after EU-SHARE has ended.

Capacity-building and organisational development can often be expensive. Our approach will be to build on the ASEAN activities of the partnership to date in HE, replicating and scaling up interventions where they have shown impact and usefulness in support of key result areas covered under EU-SHARE. DAAD’s ‘ASEAN QA’ project and their hosting of the ASEM Education Secretariat are examples of where prior work can enhance EU-SHARE aims.

In addition, supporting value for money, the project will explore sub-contracting Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) to provide low cost, long term organisational development support through placements in organisations such as SEAMEO RIHED, AUN and AQAN where agreed. We will provide core grant support to these organisations in line with EU guidelines to strengthen organisational development aims identified through long term placements. Long term placements and core grant support will provide significant strengthening of key ASEAN organisations for a fraction of the price of typical consultancy input.

An Inclusive and Regionally Sensitive Process Approach:
A blueprint approach to programme management will not provide the right methodology for delivering programme success because of the diversity of systems, needs and aspirations within ASEAN. The initial evidence base and participatory planning at key junctures during project implementation will enable activities to be negotiated and brokered along the journey. This will ensure that the programme builds local ownership and provides local solutions to ASEAN’s needs.

CLMV countries will need specific support through this programme; our partnership which has offices in those countries and all other ASEAN nations, will ensure we make the best of existing local relationships, ensuring local ownership and local solutions which will be critical to ensuring sustainable programme outcomes.

Piloting for Learning:
The majority of harmonisation efforts will revolve around the heart of the programme – quality assurance, qualification frameworks and credit transfer systems. Tools developed to connect and articulate these systems within ASEAN and beyond will be developed in conjunction with other initiatives that have gone on in the past as well as current programmes such as ASEAN QA. Pilot activities will be developed under these areas, building on lessons from the EU and from across ASEAN to test whether systems provide workable solutions to harmonisation. Pilot mobility schemes will be monitored and data analysed and reviewed and fed back in to the CTS interventions as part of a continuous learning circle – pilot-test-adapt-pilot.

Publications are anticipated in the following areas:

  • Outcomes of Policy dialogues (two per dialogue)
  • Outcomes from Milestone conferences
  • Training methods and practices (relating to organisational development)
  • Degree structures in ASEAN
  • State of play in QA
  • State of play in QF
  • Guidelines for implementing AQAN QA standards at national and institutional level
  • Outcome of national and institutional QA pilot reviews (overarching report)
  • National reports on NQF status-quo in ASEAN vis a vis alignment with the AQRF
  • Guidance on Student mobility (ASEAN)
  • Credit Transfer
  • Lessons from EU-ASEAN collaboration on HE

The 6 May 2015 press release is available here.

For further information concerning this project, please contact Maria Kelo or Paula Ranne.

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