Lifelong learning (LLL) has long been a prominent topic of discussion in many high level education meetings in ASEM countries. The 2nd Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education in Hanoi in May 2009 acknowledged that lifelong learning provides a solid framework for the sustainable development of human resource. This, in turn generates economic growth, social welfare and enables individuals to pursue stimulating learning opportunities at all stages of their lives. Lifelong learning therefore deserves further cooperation among the ASEM countries.
In response to this conclusion, the Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), in cooperation with the ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning (ASEM LLL Hub) organised the Conference on “Increasing Opportunities and Removing Obstacles for Lifelong Learning” in Nha Trang (October 2009). The conference acknowledged the pre-eminence of the economic aim of LLL as well as affirmed the humanistic aims of LLL, highlighted the well-being and happiness of individuals and postulated five pillars of learning – to know, to do, to be, to live together and to care for the planet.
As part of vision to build a learning society, the Vietnamese MOET organised the “Vietnam Forum on Lifelong Learning – Building a Learning Society” on 6-8 December 2010 in Hanoi. The in partnership with UNESCO Hanoi Office and the ASEM Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning (ASEM LLL Hub). The conference, which was opened by Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Dr Nguyen Thien Nhan, convened about 300 participants, comprising of international researchers, university management representatives, ministry representatives, UNESCO experts, and Vietnamese policymakers and researchers from all 63 districts in Vietnam. Within the framework of the Forum, five research seminars provided a venue to present collaborative research projects among Asian and European universities. The recommendations adopted during the forum will be submitted to the Government of Vietnam and to the 3rd Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education (ASEMME3) in May 2011 in Copenhagen.
After the Forum, the ASEM LLL Hub organised five research networks meetings to review and evaluate the Hub’s research results in 2010 and map out the research plans in 2011. The ASEM LLL Hub meetings took place with the presence of the ASEM LLL Hub University Council and Advisory Board.
The ASEM LLL Hub consists of 70 researchers from 60 universities and research institutions in 32 ASEM countries. The Hub currently has a University Council of 35 university management representatives and an Advisory Board representing 22 national ministries and international organisations. The ASEM LLL Hub Secretariat is with the Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark.