In 2017, the ASEAN or Association of Southeast Asian Nations celebrated its 50th anniversary. Now that the event has already passed, the association now has new tasks ahead as it aims to reach its ambitious goal which is to make a united community based on socio-cultural, political and economy. There are many sectors involved to accomplish community building but education plays a crucial role in this process. At a young age, the International Kindergarten in Bangkok has trained the young children to adapt with new environment among children from different parts of the world.
The plan of ASEAN involves improving the region’s human resources and creating an identity for the region. Along with this goal is to help grow the economy of the Southeast Asian nations. There were many plans discussed during the 2009 14th ASEAN Summit held in Cha-Am Hua-in and on top of the agenda is to make higher education in the region be monitored a by single governing body.
ASEAN has been instrumental in encouraging the cooperation in the region’s various educational institutions. ASEAN is also planning to promote join research projects as well as further the exchange of students and staffs by utilizing the credit transfer systems and other mechanisms to make it possible.
ASEAN is also in the process of making common space to be used by higher education. The common space will serve the region’s higher education by creating harmony among 6,500 educational institutions under the ASEAN countries and providing to around 12 million students.
To make it possible, there are many challenges and some are complicated which was a topic during the meeting of the panel. The panel was put together by the Heinrich Boell Foundation based in Southeast Asia together with SEA Junction.
Students in ASEAN countries used to choose countries outside of Southeast Asia when studying abroad but recently there is a rise in the number of students opting for universities in ASEAN countries such as Singapore and Malaysia. Students from the International Kindergarten in Bangkok have been trained to adapt well with other nationalities thus there won’t be a problem when they have to study abroad in the future.