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2nd ASEM Rectors' Conference (ARC2)

Asia-Europe University Cooperation: Contributing to the Global Knowledge Society

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
26 Oct 2010 - 27 Oct 2010 Asia-Europe Foundation Education Department ASEF Higher Education Programme (AHEP) Education

Seoul (Korea)

Total number of participants: 73 high-level representatives from 51 selected universities in 28 ASEM countries and 10 higher education associations and institutions (out of 73 participants, 44 are Rectors, Presidents and Vice Chancellors of universities).

New participating countries: The Conference attracted participants from Brunei, Cambodia, Finland, Greece, Lithuania, Myanmar, Portugal and Slovakia for the first time widening the outreach of the ASEM education process.

The Conference Recommendations highlights 5 major policy agenda. ASEM governments and university leaders were called upon to:

  1. Recognise and support universities as motors for economic growth and for the creation of knowledge societies;
  2. Foster effective knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing;
  3. Support curricular reform and education for global citizenship;
  4. Widen perspectives for mobility; and
  5. Support student involvement in the programming of the ASEM Education Process.




“…the ASEM Rectors’ Conference is a unique opportunity to harness the wisdom, enthusiasm and passion of university leaders to focus their energy on addressing the most pressing challenges facing higher education --- both within the Asian and European regions, but also globally...” 
- Professor Ki-Su Lee, President, Korea University (KU)

“We believe in the spirit of regional cooperation, ASEM Rectors’ Conference is the vital platform to bring together our utmost efforts for the benefit of the peoples."
- ASEAN University Network (AUN)

“Higher Education institutions in Asia and Europe are in a strong position to help our societies to move to a higher plan. In order to do so, universities shall need to be dedicated to innovation, be willing to lead change in good collaboration with the different stakeholders in society, and prepare the next generations not just with knowledge but also values and attitudes suitable for the modern world. But universities will not achieve this in isolation. From quite different perspectives, universities in East and West can help each other to live up to high expectations of the society and at the same time strengthen the ties between the Asian and European continents. Even more important than a focus on teaching is willingness to learn from each other and to be open to collaboration on the basis of respect and common purpose."
- Professor Dr. Maurits van Rooijen, Rector Magnificus and CEO, Nyenrode Business Universiteit, The Netherlands

“The ASEM Education process has demonstrated its capacity to engage European and Asian stakeholders from both the private and the public sectors in the crucial task of reviewing the role of universities in a global knowledge community.  The issues raised at the 2nd ASEM Rectors’ Conference are fundamental and forward-looking.  How does the university, with depleted financial resources, meet the mass demand for academic credentials and the market demand for ever higher and more expensive levels of expert knowledge in science and technology?  How does it protect, preserve and promote its legacy of arts and letters, vital in sustaining a people’s culture and identity, for which the market will not pay?   As computers and communications and transport technology breach geographic and political boundaries, what global citizenship values must universities cultivate?  Who should share the responsibility for ensuring a more equitable distribution, among and within countries, of the benefits arising from the knowledge economy?  Questions like these require time and effort and collaboration among stakeholders to address.  Support for the ASEM Education Process will help keep us focused on the search for acceptable responses.”
- Professor Edilberto De Jesus, President, Asian Institute of Management (AIM), The Philippines

"The ASEM Rectors' Conference is a good platform for Asia and Europe to share good practices in higher education and identify projects that we can work on together, not only to advance scholarship, but to strengthen mutual understanding and respect for global goodwill."
- Professor Sharifah Hapsah Syed Hasan Shahabudin, Vice-Chancellor/President of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Malaysia

“Bringing together university leaders from Europe and Asia for a discussion of our joint future in higher education, the ASEM Rectors’ conference provides an ideal forum for sharing and exploring exciting new ideas and developments.  I returned from the conference with a clear idea of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and I look forward to participating further in the ASEM education process.”
- Prof. Koen Lamberts, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research, Science & Medicine), University of Warwick


  • ASEAN University Network (AUN)
  • Korea University
Funded by the European Union
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