Countries attending the inaugural East Asia Summit Education Ministers’ Meeting have committed to improving the quality of higher education across the region.
Attending the Meeting in Bali yesterday, Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, welcomed the progress made on advancing education cooperation.
“EAS countries have a common interest in advancing education cooperation and information sharing,” Senator Evans said.“By working together we will achieve mutual and long-term benefits. Our collaboration will support economic integration, improve people to people links and increase the quantity and quality of education in the region.”
The meeting was chaired by Minister of Education of the Republic of Indonesia, H. E. Prof. Mohammad Nuh and attended by Education Ministers of ASEAN Member States, Australia, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and New Zealand.
Member countries agreed to implement a range of projects which will enable closer education co-operation on the development of national and regional qualification frameworks and quality assurance measures.
The Ministers also agreed to convene an EAS Ministers Meeting on a biennial basis, commencing next year, and to develop an Education Cooperation Action Plan.
“The EAS education projects will build the capacity of EAS member countries education systems, particularly quality assessment and quality assurance, and promote cross-border and international education,” Senator Evans said.
“Strengthening quality and transparency provides benefits for all countries and will support the long-term sustainability of Australia’s education engagement with the region.
“Our work with the EAS has been guided by a desire to bring tangible and mutual benefits to all EAS member countries with a particular desire to advance the interests of developing countries.”
Senator Evans said Australia would fund three projects which would assist countries in the region develop a quality assurance regime for vocational education, support EAS countries to ratify the UNESCO Regional Convention on qualifications recognition and investigate the merit of a regional facility for monitoring education quality in schools.
These projects are consistent with Australia’s agenda for promoting quality in all levels of education at both home and abroad.
“This meeting demonstrated the benefits of cooperation between EAS countries on a range of regional issues including education,” Senator Evans said.
“The successful outcomes from this inaugural EAS Education Minister Meeting will be welcomed at the Leaders Summit in November which the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard will attend.
“The Leaders Summit will also see the United States and Russia officially join the EAS as members which will strengthen regional cooperation and dialogue.”The meeting outcomes were outlined in a Chair’s Statement.