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Going Global 2018: ASEAN higher education systems are becoming more open to international engagement

Last update: 16:55 | 10/05/2018

Higher education systems in the ASEAN region are becoming more open to international engagement, says a report entitled "The Shape of Global Higher Education." The British Council’s unique policy framework was launched at the Going Global conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 

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Photo: British Council



According to the report, even though Vietnam isn’t the country with the largest higher education system in ASEAN, it’s among those whose systems are generally the most developed across the core domains. They also benefit from a government that, in relative terms, is able to invest in higher education.

The report, which is the third edition of a series, aims to build our collective knowledge and understanding of higher education policies and legislation in various countries. The latest report in this series focuses on the ten ASEAN member states namely Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, The Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Lao PDR, and their higher education systems and support. 

It’s notable that Vietnam along with Malaysia, The Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore and Thailand compare favorably with countries from across the world in terms of the policies and infrastructure provided to support international higher education. 

Now that we have a snapshot of the policy environment in 2016 and 2018 for five of the countries that were studied (Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia), we’ll be able to observe any changes in the HE policy environment. The aim of the study is to allow the international higher education community to benchmark the level of support provided by national systems for international engagement and activity. This includes mobility of staff and students, mobility of programs and institutions, and international collaboration for research.

All five countries included in the 2016 and 2018 reports have strengthened their systemic national support for international HE engagement and scored well at “high” levels across all the three categories in the National Policies Framework. Vietnam ranks third just behind Malaysia and Thailand in terms of openness of higher education systems and support, and is proud to be one of only two countries in the region with a “very high” level of regional recognition and quality assurance agencies.

All of the ASEAN countries already have, or are trying to develop, significant levels of inbound transnational education and are aiming to grow their HE systems by building international and transnational education partnerships. Michael Peak, Head of Higher Education Systems Research at the British Council said, “International higher education is of clear national and regional importance within ASEAN. The region, although diverse in many ways, including in terms of the size of the economy, and the relative ‘maturity’ of the HE systems, is united by a desire to engage further in international higher education.”

The British Council has been working with Vietnam since 1993. In 2018, we are marking the 25th anniversary with a series of events that celebrate cultural relations and exchange between the UK and Vietnam.

VN Economic Times

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