In a series of discussions on developing a framework for university exchange with quality assurance in the East Asian region, the International Symposium on Exchange among Universities with Quality Assurance in East Asian Region was held on September 29 and 30 in order to share the outcomes of these discussions and deepen cooperative ties in higher education among the countries of East Asia. After lively discussions by more than 380 participants from concerned parties in Japan, and governments, quality assurance institutions, universities and industry leaders from ASEAN member countries, India, New Zealand, Australia and Bangladesh, the symposium was closed with Chair’s statement.

Outcome of International Symposium on Exchange among Universities with Quality Assurance in East Asian Region

1. Background of the symposium

  ○ Based on the proposal by the former Prime Minister Hatoyama at the Second Japan-China-Korea Trilateral Summit (on October 2009), all three nations agreed to establish a council of advisors to discuss quality-assured university exchange in these countries and to host an International Symposium to discuss quality assurance among the countries of East Asia.

  ○ At the ASEAN +3 Summit and the East Asia Summit, both held in October 2009, a proposal from Japan to hold an International Symposium was welcomed.

  ○ The International Symposium on Exchange among Universities with Quality Assurance in the East Asian Region was held on September 29 and 30 in Tokyo to share widely with the East Asian Region the outcome of the CAMPUS* Asia concept, which is currently being elaborated upon by Japan, China and Korea, and several university exchanges mainly in ASEAN countries as well as to discuss the desired future path of the concept.

* Collective Action for Mobility Program of University Students

2. Outline of the symposium

This symposium was held in two days on September 29 and 30 at Mita Kaigisho Conference Center in Tokyo. Following opening remarks by the Senior Vice Minister of MEXT, Ms Yuko MORI, and keynote speeches by speakers from Japan and abroad, opinions were actively exchanged in three working groups. On the second day, the Chair’s statement was finalized after reports from each working group and a summary of discussions.

(1) Opening remarks by Senior Vice Minister (Outline)

○ To respond to the need to globalize social systems and universities in East Asian countries including Japan, many universities are facing the challenge of internationalization in order to attract outstanding professors and students and to further expand university exchanges. As integration of economic activities among East Asian countries continues to expand, universities will be required to clearly define and visualize their social roles.

○ In this symposium, I would like you to discuss how to promote programs with credit transfers and grading policies which will be the key to exchanges among universities.  It is important that each party respects the different paths of development that each country's universities, degrees, credits and various other systems have followed as well as the diverse national histories and cultures in which they exist. It is also vital to promote the visualization of information and to cultivate a common understanding.  I expect that proposals will be made from a new approach of finding truly suitable cooperation in higher education among those living in East Asian countries.

○ I would also like you to discuss attractive education programs in cooperation with industry for the global human resource development based on the diverse situations in East Asian countries.

○ I hope that this symposium will result in a remarkable expansion of quality-assured university exchanges and good relations among the nations of East Asia.

(2) Outline of each working group (Outline)

○ In WG A, discussions focused on the following topics: progress of the CAMPUS Asia  implemented based upon guidelines formulated by Japan, China and Korea; the efforts of the ASEAN University Network (AUN), including its ASEAN Credit Transfer System (ACTS); the need for future exchange frameworks covering East Asia; and the need to secure the visualization of syllabi and credit approval procedures when promoting quality-assured exchange between universities.

○ In WG B, discussions focused on the following topics: the strategy for developing human resources with global talent and specifying images of global talent required by industries etc.; expectations for higher education institutions and the like; and approaches to visionary cooperative education programs by universities and institutions.

○ In WG C, discussions focused on the following topics: sharing information on the current state of each country's internal and external quality assurance systems; and the need to promote personnel exchanges among quality assurance specialists and the like.

(3) Outline of Chair’s statement (Attachment 1)

○ To ensure the sustainable development and growth of the nations of East Asia, the role of universities—as centers for education and research that convey and develop various academic disciplines, that create new knowledge and technologies and give them back to society, and that produce intellectual human resources to respond to the needs of the times—is incredibly important.

○ It is important to increase quality-assured university exchanges with credit transfers and suitable grading policies along with international cooperation programs for developing highly talented individuals on a regional scale.  When monitoring and evaluating these programs, it is desirable to be conducted appropriately and in cooperation with the countries and agencies concerned.

○ In promoting programs, it is important that each party respects the different paths of development that each country's systems have followed as well as the diverse cultures in which they exist. It is also vital to promote the visualization of educational information and to cultivate a common understanding.

○ To ensure that the experiences gained from implementing programs will be tied to future efforts in building a shared quality-assured university exchange framework in East Asia, the national governments and experts involved will continue to engage in discussions and dialogues at various levels.

Materials distributed at the symposium will be released on the MEXT website by the end of October (Home> Education > International Educational Movement).

Contacts

Office for International Planning, Higher Education Policy Planning Division, Higher Education Bureau

Suzuka SAKASHITA, Director (Ext. 2619) Nao OSHIMA, Deputy Director (Ext. 3363)
  • 03-6734-3363 (Direct Line)
  • 03-6734-3385

(Office for International Planning, Higher Education Policy Planning Division, Higher Education Bureau)