Yogyakarta, 28 October 2019 – The Seventh ASEAN Qualifications Reference Framework Committee Meeting and Workshop was successfully held at Royal Ambarrukmo Hotel with the support from Ministry of Human Development and Culture, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Trade, Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Industry and STIPRAM (Sekolah Tinggi Pariwisata Ambarrukmo) Yogyakarta.

This event was held from 28-30 October 2019 and as many as 92 delegates from all around ASEAN attended the opening ceremony. . The main agenda of this event was to further explore the possibilities of qualifications frameworks in education sectors across countries in ASEAN and thus promote equal recognition within the region. This event also focused on the engagement with lifelong learning providers, which is imperative to the development of a country.

Prof. Dr. Ismunandar, the Director General of Learning and Student Affairs, under the Ministry of Education and Culture, symbolically opened the ceremony. In his speech, he explained that AQRF was the regional instrument to solve the qualifications recognition problems that take place between academics and professionals within the ASEAN Member States (AMS).
“This instrument will not only support the competitiveness between regions and community, yet significantly, it is developed to cultivate trust between AMS, to recognise other countries’ education system and professional skills.”

Besides delegates from AMS, this event was also attended by representatives from Australia, the European Union Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN (SHARE) Programme and Prof. Maria Slowey from Dublin City University, Ireland, as a reviewer. This AQRF meeting acts as a bridge between the AMS to unite the diverse culture and practice in various ASEAN countries, especially in their educational frameworks, to become one strong region.

During the forum, Prof. Maria Slowey provided an overview on the European Qualification Framework for Lifelong Learning (EQF). She mentioned the importance of regional qualifications frameworks to create synergy between stakeholders, namely employers, civil society, learners and the state. She also discussed the changing landscape of education systems from closed education institutions to an open education and from homogeneous to a more heterogenous types of learners, thus qualifications frameworks are crucial to deliver quality recognition in regards of different education platforms.

Moreover, Mr. Sebastian Gries of EU SHARE also mentioned the benefit of practicing AQRF in terms of mobility and employability. Since 2015, EU SHARE has fully supported the development of AQRF and in reference to EQF, AQRF is expected to enhance connectivity and comparability between higher education institutions within the ASEAN region, thus graduates and professionals can compete across regions.

The AQRF is established in hope that the education qualifications in Indonesia can be equally recognised across all AMS, thus creating a quality workforce to compete with other regions. (YS)