Cooperation in higher education between Europe and other world regions: Asia

Brussels, 5 May 2006


Europe is increasingly looking beyond its borders. Cooperation in higher education within Europe has been a stunning success story, but there are still shortcomings when it comes to cooperation with other world regions, and to the number of non-European students studying at Europe’s universities. Compared to the US or Australia, the region where Europe is particularly weak is clearly Asia.

The global dimension of European higher education is a hot topic, but the relationship with Asia is a “burning one”. The educational landscapes especially of China and India are quickly changing. China, but also other Asian countries, is investing heavily in the creation of “world-class-universities”. Many Asian universities start becoming the preferred choice of home students at least at the undergraduate level. Former “sending countries” over which English-speaking and continental European destinations have been competing are themselves becoming destinations for international students from the region and beyond.

The European Union, its member states and universities are actively promoting cooperation with Asian countries. But are they doing enough, and are they using the right tools? What are the main existing “tools” at European level fostering cooperation between Europe and Asia, and what are the perspectives for the future? How does bilateral cooperation fit in the European context? What works for European institutions, from the establishment of offshore campuses and targeted recruitment to the setting up of specific regional programmes?

These and other questions were addressed at this seminar. Building on the findings of recent ACA studies, ACA staff has presented the association’s latest insights on the theme. In addition to this, experts from the European Commission as well as national and institutional level experts from different European backgrounds have shared their insights.

10th in the series “European Policy Seminars” of the Academic Cooperation Association