Switzerland is a member of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which has served since 1996 as a forum for exchange between Europe and Asia to address economic, political, educational, cultural, environmental and climate issues. Education and training has been one of the priority areas on the agenda since 2006 and has been discussed in detail at regular ministerial meetings since 2008. On 15 December, the 8th Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education (ASEMME) was held online. The host was Thailand.
ASEM is designed to serve as an informal platform to foster dialogue between European and Asian states. The aim of the ministerial talks and biennial summits is to exchange views on the challenges and problems facing both continents. ASEM currently comprises the EU Member States, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, representatives of the European Union as well as 20 Asian states and the ASEAN Secretariat.
The 8th meeting of education ministers was held online on 15 December and was opened by the Thai Minister of Education, Treenuch Thienthong. Switzerland was represented by the Vice Director of SERI, Silvia Studinger. The theme of the meeting was ’ASEM Education 2030: On our way to a resilient, prosperous and sustainable future’. The aim was to exchange views on existing and future initiatives and projects, as well as to support the ASEM Education 2030 Strategy and the corresponding Action Plan.
The four strategic objectives of the ASEM Education 2030 Strategy form the basis for cooperation in this decade. They include promoting inclusive and balanced mobility and exchanges between Asia and Europe, promoting lifelong learning (including vocational education and training), promoting skills development, and increasing transparency and mutual understanding in the areas of recognition, validation and quality assurance. Participants also underlined the importance of these strategic objectives to ensure sustainable development, and of digitalisation to promote exchanges and cooperation between Asia and Europe.