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Japan-US Partnership towards the formation of Asian Higher Education Area focusing on ASEAN

Overview

Leader Yasushi Hirosato (Professor, Faculty of Global Studies/Director, Center for Global Discover, Sophia University)
Researcher Miki Sugimura (Professor, Department of Education, Faculty of Human Sciences, /Vice President for Academic Exchange), Kazuhiro Maeshima (Professor, Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University), James Williams (Associate Professor, George Washington University), John Hawkins (Researcher, East-West Center, University of Hawaii), Yuto Kitamura (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, the University of Tokyo), and Kazuo Kuroda (Professor, Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Waseda University )
Term April 2015 - March 2016
Research Outline

Structural transformation would be accelerated in Asia through free flow of capitals, goods, information and skilled labor due to a launch of ASEAN economic community from December 2015. It is certain that international competition among countries to capture the Southeast Asia market will be severe where domestic consumption is expected to raise with the population of more than 600 million. In particular, in higher education developing skilled labor, so-called "knowledge diplomacy" (diplomatic international competition or cooperation concerning a platform on quality assurance and credit transfer systems) is ongoing among key stakeholders who are government agencies and universities in Japan, China, South Korea and ASEAN countries, higher education networks in ASEAN ("ASEAN University Network: AUN," and "Greater Mekong Subregion university network called GMS University Consortium," and the Secretariat of the Southeast Asia Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and its Regional Center for Higher Education and Development (SEAMEO - RIHED).
This research is a policy study aiming to examine the current state of “knowledge diplomacy” in higher education in ASEAN, and delineate a road map for formulating an “Asian Higher Education Area” in collaboration with Japan-U.S. partnership. More concretely, the research will review: (i) the status of internationalization or harmonization in higher education in Asia; (ii) activities on external and internal quality assurance involving ASEAN+3 (Japan, China and South Korea); (iii) coexistence of "ASEAN Credit Transfer System” and "Asian Academic Credits”; (iv) grading system; (v) the status of "ASEAN International Mobility for Students” program; (vi) complementary role between AUN and "GMS University Consortium," and based on the review, will develop a road map towards the "Asian Higher Education Area," including roles of key stakeholders and an action plan.
In order to formulate the "Asian Higher Education Area," it is necessary to harmonize quality assurance, credit transfer, and grading with permeability as a framework, and strengthen the university networks that will facilitate such harmonization. However, most existing studies deal with harmonization of quality assurance and credit transfer systems by AUN comprising 30 leading universities in ASEAN, and it is quite rare to find studies referring to harmonization of higher education covering other numerous universities than AUN member universities.
"GMS University Consortium,” whose Secretariat is located at the SEAMEO-RIHED, is intended to complement the function of AUN. It is a network among the universities located along the three economic corridors in the GMS (the North and South Economic Corridor, the East and West Economic Corridor, and the Southern Economic Corridor) across Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam (CLMV), aiming to improve the quality of provincial universities in terms of management, academic culture and research capacity, and promote higher education harmonization in the GMS.
By adjusting the interests of key stakeholders through the "knowledge diplomacy," an attractive "Asia Higher Education Area" could emerge with the harmonized higher education in ASEAN. It is expected that Japan-US partnership, especially in terms of the horizontal and bilateral cooperation with universities in ASEAN including the GMS and the linkages with key stakeholders, will play an important role in the process of formulating "Asia Higher Education Area."

Report

Leader Yasushi Hirosato (Professor, Faculty of Global Studies/Director, Center for Global Discover, Sophia University)
Researcher Miki Sugimura (Professor, Department of Education, Faculty of Human Sciences, /Vice President for Academic Exchange), Kazuhiro Maeshima (Professor, Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University), James Williams (Associate Professor, George Washington University), John Hawkins (Researcher, East-West Center, University of Hawaii), Yuto Kitamura (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, the University of Tokyo), and Kazuo Kuroda (Professor, Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Waseda University )
Term April 2015 - March 2016
Achievements Outline

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Activity Contents

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Policy Paper

Leader Yasushi Hirosato (Professor, Faculty of Global Studies/Director, Center for Global Discover, Sophia University)
Researcher Miki Sugimura (Professor, Department of Education, Faculty of Human Sciences, /Vice President for Academic Exchange), Kazuhiro Maeshima (Professor, Faculty of Global Studies, Sophia University), James Williams (Associate Professor, George Washington University), John Hawkins (Researcher, East-West Center, University of Hawaii), Yuto Kitamura (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education, the University of Tokyo), and Kazuo Kuroda (Professor, Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Waseda University )
Term April 2015 - March 2016

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