The level of regional cooperation among Southeast Asian countries has expanded dramatically since the inception of establishing an ASEAN Community. The creation of an ASEAN community envisions to narrow developmental gaps on multiple sectors including the advancement of higher education. This emphasis on higher education is aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of the region which is seen as a building block in creating people-centered communities of diverse backgrounds.
With ASEAN countries aggressively moving towards putting in place systems such as quality assurance, credit transfer, and student mobility that allow for the harmonization of higher education in the region, the EU experience becomes worth revisiting. Identifying the critical elements that created the opportunities in the regionalization of higher education in Europe continues to serve as a platform for discussing the ways forward on regionalizing higher education in Southeast Asia. What factors have been and continue to be critical in translating regional commitments into practices that promote a harmonious higher education system that eventually corresponds to achievable policies at the national level?
The research hopes to answer the following questions:
1. What lessons have been learned from the regionalization of higher education experience in Europe?
2. What policies among ASEAN countries have been put in place to translate regional commitments on higher education integration to national policies?
3. What lessons from the EU experience can be useful in assessing the remaining challenges towards ASEAN’s harmonization of higher education?