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1st ASEM Rectors' Conference (ARC1)

Between Tradition and Reform: Universities in Asia and Europe at the Crossroads"

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
27 Oct 2008 - 29 Oct 2008 Asia-Europe Foundation Education Department ASEF Rectors' Conference and Students' Forum (ARC) Education

Berlin (Germany)

The 1st ASEM Rectors’ Conference (ASEM RC)  themed “Between Tradition and Reform: Universities in Asia and Europe” held in Berlin, Germany from 27 to 29 October 2008 brought together ninety-eight (98) Asian and European leaders of higher education institutions from twenty-four (24) ASEM countries to discuss higher education policy issues, such as: governance and management of universities; quality assurance in higher education; and trends on education and research co-operation between the two regions.

Hosted by the Free University of Berlin, the Conference was organised through the joint efforts of the ASEM Education Hub (AEH) under the auspices of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the ASEAN University Network (AUN), and the European University Association (EUA) with the strong support of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The 1st ASEM RC adopted the Conference Recommendations before the close of the two-day activity. It lays out four (4) important points relative to ASEM higher education cooperation efforts:

  1. enhanced framework for ASEM higher education policy dialogue and cooperation;
  2. mobility within ASEM countries for researchers and students;
  3. research collaboration; and
  4. incentive and support for ASEM higher education cooperation.

The policy document was endorsed to the Ministers of Education at the 2nd ASEM Conference for Ministers Responsible for Education convened in Hanoi in May 2009.

At the sidelines of the First ASEM Rectors' Conference, the ASEM Education Hub (AEH) Exhibition highlighted ASEF’s higher education co-operation efforts as well as projects of the Intellectual Exchange, Cultural Exchange and Public Affairs Departments – all geared towards providing dialogue between Asia and Europe on important issues with stakeholders from ASEM governments and the civil society. A publication of the proceedings of the Conference will be released in 2009.


  • ASEAN University Network (AUN)
  • Free University of Berlin
  • German Rectors' Conference (HRK)


Funded by the European Union