The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology - Japan has been playing a central role in the Working Group on Mobility of Higher Education and Ensuring Quality Assurance of Higher Education among ASEAN Plus Three Countries (hereinafter referred to as WG) under the ASEAN Plus Three Education Ministers Meeting to promote quality-assured student mobility for mutual understanding, peace and development in the region.
The ASEAN Plus Three Guidelines on Student Exchanges and Mobility made by WG were approved by ASEAN Plus Three member states at the 3rd Education Ministers Meeting held on May 26, 2016 in Malaysia. The Guidelines define the terms to be incorporated in student exchange programs in the region, information which should be transmitted to students, and provide a principle to create and implement such programs.
Universities shall take these guidelines into consideration when implementing student exchange programs in the region and providing information.

ASEAN Plus Three Guidelines on Student Exchanges and Mobility

1. VISION

The ASEAN Plus Three countries aspire to achieve mutual understanding, peace and development in the region through the greater promotion of student exchanges and balanced mobility for future generations.

2. OBJECTIVE

The ASEAN Plus Three Guidelines on Student Exchanges and Mobility (hereafter "the Guidelines") are intended to provide a basic framework for student exchanges and mobility with quality assurance and to promote the development of higher education in each of the ASEAN Plus Three countries.
The Guidelines are a reference for relevant programmes to promote student exchanges and balanced mobility in the ASEAN Plus Three countries (hereafter "programmes").
Each country is encouraged to explore possible ways of support to promote the utilization of the Guidelines for the programmes.

3. PARTICIPATION

Each country should make the Guidelines known to the universities and other related institutions in its country.
When an ASEAN Plus Three country participates in the student exchanges framework under the Guidelines, a “focal point” within the government and/or other entity designated by the government should be appointed in each country.
When a university or other higher education institutions participate in the student exchange framework under the Guidelines, the focal point should endorse the institution.
Both the government (and/or other entity designated by the government) and the participating institutions in the country are encouraged to comply with all the terms of the Guidelines.

4. STUDENT EXCHANGES AND MOBILITY

The following items should be taken into consideration when making and managing programmes in the ASEAN Plus Three countries.

4.1 LENGTH OF STUDY AND PROGRAMMES TYPES

The length of student exchange study and programme types under the Guidelines are classified into the following categories:

4.1.1 Length of Study

(a) shorter than three months
(b) three months to less than six months
(c) six months to twelve months
(d) longer than twelve months

4.1.2 Programmes Types

(a) degree awarding
(b) credit awarding
(c) others

4.2 STUDENT LEVEL

Graduate or undergraduate levels.

4.3 LANGUAGES

The preferred medium of instruction is English, but other languages are not excluded.

4.4 ACADEMIC FIELDS

The academic fields should be decided by the partner institutions in accordance with their willingness and in consideration of their own situation and agreements. The fields are not limited, but for the sake of convenience, are classified into the following categories:
(a) Education
(b) Humanities, arts
(c) Health and welfare
(d) Social sciences, business and law
(e) Service
(f) Engineering, manufacturing and construction
(g) Life sciences
(h) Physical sciences
(i) Mathematics and statistics
(j) Computing
(k) Agriculture
(l) Others

4.5 SELECTION OF PARTICIPATING STUDENTS

The criteria for the selection of students have to be worked out and agreed upon between the home and the host universities. Balanced mobility is ideal.

5. CREDITS AND CREDIT TRANSFER SYSTEM

In accordance with the agreements between the member countries and universities, the home university is encouraged to develop a system for accepting the transfer of credits in conformity with internationally recognized credit transfer systems such as the University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP) Credit Transfer System (UCTS) and ASEAN Credit Transfer Systems (ACTS) and European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Home institutions are encouraged to recognize earned credits from the host institutions.

6. QUALITY ASSURANCE

6.1 GOVERNMENT

Under the policy framework of the participating country, its government should promote student mobility with quality assurance and encourage its quality assurance bodies to communicate and collaborate with relevant bodies across the ASEAN Plus Three countries.

6.2 UNIVERSITIES/ PROGRAMMES OF STUDY

Universities and/or programmes of study for student exchanges are encouraged to be officially accredited and evaluated by relevant accreditation bodies and evaluation agencies.

7. FINANCIAL COSTS AND OTHER RESPONSIBILITIES

Financial and other support are considered across stakeholders, government, universities and other related institutions, under the following principles.

7.1 FINANCE

Financial support for participating students, which includes but is not limited to the items below, should be considered based on the type of the student exchange programmes (e.g. government sponsored vs. institutional-level voluntary student exchange programmes) and the capacity and conditions of the stakeholders. Governments should encourage universities and relevant institutions to provide the following support in accordance with the policies of the country:

Home country (government, universities and other related institutions):

• Support travel to host country
• Provide international health insurance
• Allot living allowance to students

Host country (government, universities and other related institutions):

• Waive tuition fees
• Provide scholarships and/or research grants

7.2 STUDENT SUPPORT

Student support, which includes but is not limited to the items below, should be considered based on the capacity and conditions on the stakeholders. Governments should encourage universities and relevant institutions to provide the following support in accordance with the policies of the country:

Home country (government, universities and other related institutions):

• Provide information on scholarships and/or research grants
• Provide orientation for students before departure

Host country (government, universities and other related institutions):

• Post necessary information such as programmes of study, enrollment requirements and registration procedures, and academic calendar in English on a website
• Develop an international student handbook
• Support to obtain visas
• Arrange pick up on arrival and departure
• Provide orientation for students after arrival
• Support to find accommodations
• Provide basic medical care
• Establish a “buddy”/tutoring and international advisor system for international students

8. MONITORING

An annual steering meeting is to be held back-to-back with the ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials Meeting on Education.
Each country is encouraged to monitor programmes in its country, and collect relevant information on them, including statistical data, good practices and student reports.
The above-mentioned information is reported, in accordance with the regulations of each country and depending on the situation, to the biennial Education Ministers Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three countries, and be provided through websites such as the National Information Center, which is supposed to be established in each country based on the articles in the UNESCO "Asia‐Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education", and/or other websites designated by the governments.

REMARKS

The following outcomes can be further expected:
• Guidelines on transcripts for exchange students, including a comparison table of the credit transfer systems, will be developed among the ASEAN Plus Three countries.
• Comparison tables for different systems such as academic records and academic calendars will also be developed among the ASEAN Plus Three countries.
• Each country is encouraged to promote further international exchanges among researchers, faculty members and staffs in addition to the student exchanges.

ASEAN Plus Three Guidelines on Student Exchanges and Mobility(PDF:57KB)

 

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