On April 26, 2017, the ASEAN-China Seminar on Fostering Educational Quality through International Collaboration: Academic Research and Exchanges between Hainan and ASEAN was successfully held in Haikou, Hainan Province. The Seminar was one of the activities of the 4th ACC-SEAMEO RIHED Study Visit Programme to Hainan, co-organized by ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) and Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre for Higher Education and Development (SEAMEO RIHED), aiming at enhancing higher education collaboration in the fields of foreign language and culture, tourism and hospitality, tropical agriculture, tropical medicine, and marine science.
H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping, Secretary-General of ASEAN-China Centre(ACC), Mr. Li Yuenan, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Education of Hainan Province, and Ms. Phunyanuch Pattanotai, Programme Director of SEAMEO Regional Centre for Higher Education and Development (SEAMEO RIHED), participated in the Seminar. About 80 participants from the Ministries of Education and universities of Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as 19 universities and colleges in Hainan presented at the Seminar. On behalf of University of Sanya (USY), Zoe Che, Vice President, Cao Yanwei, Vice Director, and staff of International Department attended the Seminar.
At the Seminar, Secretary-General Yang mentioned that education exchanges and cooperation is an important part of ASEAN-China people-to-people exchanges, it plays a key role in enhancing mutual understanding and friendship, promoting cultivation of skilled professionals and contributing to economic and social development in ASEAN and China. ACC has been working hand-in-hand with governmental administrations, regional partners and educational institutions to establish platforms and networks to pave the way for more education exchanges between the two sides. ACC has also established close relations with SEAMEO RIHED, organized several visits and enhanced the mutual understanding among ASEAN countries. Secretary-General Yang also expressed her confidence in today’s seminar and hoped that all the representatives could take this opportunity to have broad and in-depth discussions, share ideas and suggestions to accelerate the development of ASEAN-China and ASEAN-Hainan education cooperation.
Welcoming speech by H.E. Mme. Yang Xiuping, ACC Secretary-General
Deputy Director-General Li Yuenan, pointed out that Hainan has put education development as its priority, and viewed education development as one of its main pillars for Hainan development. A comprehensive education system has been established. In recent years, Hainan has expanded its priority in education cooperation to ASEAN countries, while its education policy has been broadened to allow constructive cooperation. With the joint efforts of both sides, ASEAN-China education cooperation has produced fruitful results in people-to-people exchanges, jointly establishing universities, promoting Chinese language, and education training.
Speech by Li Yuenan, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Education of Hainan Province
Ms. Phunyanuch Pattanotai briefed the SEAMEO RIHED situation and highly valued the fruitful achievement made by ACC and SEAMEO RIHED. She stressed that the seminar built significant platform and provided opportunity for both sides to cultivate educational exchanges and explore new ways to strengthen cooperation. It would eventually produce positive outcomes on improving education quality and promoting talents exchanges. She also hoped both sides could take this opportunity to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and build a brighter future in the region.
Greeting speech by Ms. Phunyanuch Pattanotai, Programme Director of SEAMEO RIHED
During the Seminar, Vice President Zoe Che moderated the keynote speech section. Mr. Zhang Chao, Director of the Division of International Cooperation and Exchange of Education Department of Hainan Province, and Ms. Phunyanuch Pattanotai, Programme Director of SEAMEO RIHED, delivered their keynote speeches on “Opportunities and Challenges for Hainan-ASEAN higher education collaboration and exchange under the Belt and Road framework” and “Regional efforts on quality assurance, academic mobility and collaboration”. Mr. Zhang Chao said that, Hainan province and ASEAN countries had vast potentials for cooperation and exchanges in higher education, in particular in tropical agriculture, ocean exploration, tourism, tropical disease control, there were more discipline commonness and high developing complementarily. Moreover, both sides are also facing many challenges, for instance, the scope of exchanges were not broad enough and the area cooperation was not diverse. It is suggested that both sides could seize this opportunity to continuously enhance and strengthen cooperation and exchanges through building network with potential universities, promoting people-to-people exchanges, sharing best practices on school administration, broadening two-way students mobility, enhancing regional research and languages communication.
Ms. Pattanotai briefly introduced the general situation of higher education in Southeast Asia and the efforts of SEAMEO RIHED in promoting harmonization in higher education and research, including co-establishing the ASEAN-China Network for Cooperation and Exchanges among Engineering and Technology Universities (ACNET-EngTech) and the ASEAN-China Arts College Alliance with ACC. She pointed out that quality assurance and credit transfer were the key to higher education exchanges. In this regards, SEAMEO RIHED had made effective efforts in promoting the development of regional education by setting up the ASEAN plus three working group to establish the system of higher education exchange and education quality assurance and ASEAN quality assurance alliance, and achieved good results.
Panel discussion from the Ministries of Education and universities of southeast Asian countries
The universities of ASEAN countries and Hainan province introduced themselves on the school administration characteristics, majors and faculties, as well as international cooperation and exchanges. At the discussion, Vice President Che introduced the overall situation on USY by the PowerPoint. She said USY holds dear the traditional and ever-lasting friendship with ASEAN countries, and with the new engine of the national initiative of “the Belt and Road”, is seeking more win-win cooperative modes with universities from the ASEAN countries so as to provide cross-cultural quality learning programs. As a higher education institution that promotes international exchange and cooperation, USY proactively takes part in people-to-people exchanges with countries along “the Belt and Road”. She believes that exchanges in higher education will help carrying forward the friendship between China and the neighboring countries for future mutual development. She also expressed the warm invitation to the participants for their visit to USY at the end of the presentation.
Zoe Che, Vice President of USY, briefed the international cooperation and exchange on USY
The active interaction and discussion between the two sides enhanced the mutual understanding, set up right direction for future cooperation. The representatives of universities expressed high appreciation to ACC and SEAMEO RIHED for the efforts in promoting education exchanges between Hainan and ASEAN countries, saying that the Seminar provided an opportunity for the universities of Hainan and ASEAN to communicate, built up network and would lay a more solid foundation for future cooperation, and expected more comprehensive cooperation programmes in the future.