“One ASEAN identity through student mobility.”
More than 160 students and graduate scholars from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) convened in the First ASEAN Student Mobility Forum on June 14-15, 2017 at the Conrad Manila, Pasay City.
The Forum is hosted in Manila under the Philippines’ chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017, and commemorates three major anniversaries: 50 Years of ASEAN, 40 Years of ASEAN-EU Relations, and 30 Years of Erasmus+.
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan, on her opening remarks, emphasized the importance of education in the establishment of the ASEAN Community.
“Education is likewise key in allowing Filipino graduates to gain enhanced chances and compete with their ASEAN neighbors for employment opportunities,” Licuanan said.
Chairperson Licuanan, a social psychologist, discussed how international experience can have a long-term impact on students’ personal, professional and academic life. It also positively and unequivocally influences career path, worldview and personal growth.
Deputy Secretary-General for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community, His Excellency Mr. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee also vouched for student mobility as powerful lever for growth and integration of a region.
“When we talk about mobility in ASEAN, it is not merely about mobility of commodities, but also mobility of its people, including the students. Enhancing student mobility is a priority of ASEAN as stipulated in the ASEAN Work Plan on Education 2016-2020 as well as the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Higher Education of 2015,” Arthakaivalvatee said.
Ten sessions were moderated by carefully selected guest speakers from across the region and beyond. The Forum also served as an avenue to discuss the benefits and challenges of student mobility and learn what available mobility scheme exists in ASEAN and in Europe.
Day one keynote speaker Kate Ramil, President for Southeast Asia Region-Erasmus Mundus Association, recounted her experience as a graduate student in Europe and how this changed her life and paved for a fulfilling career. The acclaimed educator, social scientist, and development worker is currently working as a lecturer and consultant to several Non-Government Organizations.
For day two, CIMB Group Chief People Officer Dato’ Hamidah Naziadin delivered a thought-provoking keynote address, challenging the participants to be future-ready in terms of learning. She shared some of the tricks in people recruitment and development to develop a high-performing workforce.
Another highlight of the event was a mock ASEAN Debate. Select delegates were chosen to represent their national teams to discuss each of their countries’ higher education landscape characteristics, strengths and weaknesses.
Delegates also had the chance to connect with other participants and establish networks during the entire course of the event.
The First ASEAN Student Mobility Forum is hosted by CHED and the European Union Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region (EU SHARE) Programme in coordination with the ASEAN National Organizing Council of the Philippines.