Year 2002

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Progress Report to the ASEM SOM in April 2002


1) Joint Proposal by Korea, France and Singapore
The recommendation for the establishment of a fellowship programme within the ASEM framework was first made by the Asia-Europe Vision Group in 1999. The creation of an "ASEM scholarship programme" was suggested, underscoring that educational exchanges between Asia and Europe are key to establishing deeper understanding between the peoples of the two continents. Later, in the Asia-Europe Cooperation Framework 2000, Leaders defined the promotion of "enhanced contact and strengthened mutual awareness between the people of our two regions" as one of the key priorities for ASEM in the future. In order to translate this priority into reality, the heads of Korea, France and Singapore jointly proposed the ≪ASEM-DUO Fellowship Programme (ASEM-DUO)≫ at ASEM 3 held in Seoul, and this initiative was endorsed by the summit.

2) Core Principles (cf. concept paper attached)
The ASEM-DUO basically aims to increase exchanges of people in the educational field on a ≪balanced and permanent basis≫, and allows for further flexibility by allowing individual donor partners to introduce specific criteria to reflect their individual needs. This is achieved by establishing a set of ≪Core Principles≫, which would govern the ASEM-DUO whilst individual donor partners may in addition establish their own criteria. Core principles are based on a simple concept :
- a two-way exchange of people between two educational institutions, one from Europe and the other from Asia ;
- standardized durations of exchanges and amounts of financial support.
The original target of funds for the ASEM-DUO was 26 million Euros for the period of 2001 through 2005. As of December 2001, Korea, France and Singapore have together committed a total of approximately 6 million Euros.

3) Added value
The main added value attached to the ASEM-DUO is to promote the establishment and enhancement of cooperation projects between educational bodies in Asia and Europe. The DUO concept, based on pairing, is also unique in the sense that it guarantees a numerical balance in the exchanges from Asia to Europe and from Europe to Asia. Its simple and flexible principles make it an adaptable instrument which can be used by any ASEM partner, whatever its strategy and its needs in the field of educational exchanges. Finally, the status of participating country enables ASEM partners that are not yet prepared to make a financial contribution to take part in the ASEM-DUO.

4) Synergy with other ASEM initiatives
The ASEM-DUO was originally elaborated with a view to extend, broaden and support other initiatives already adopted within ASEM in the field of education, such as :
- the Singapore initiative for EARNs (Education and Research Networks, formerly called education hubs)
- and the Malaysian project for an Asia-Europe University.
EARNs may help identify possible exchanges between institutions in Europe and in Asia eligible to DUO, likewise some exchanges organized in the framework of the Asia-Europe University may be financed by DUO. Ways to improve the synergy between the ASEM-DUO and these two initiatives are currently being explored by the Secretariat.

Establishment of a Secretariat

To facilitate the implementation of the ASEM-DUO initiative, an Experts’ Group Meeting was held in Seoul in April 2001. The meeting was attended by representatives from more than fifteen ASEM member countries and provided an opportunity for an exchange of views on the details of the ASEM-DUO programme. The expert meeting, among others, recommended that a small secretariat be established for the efficient implementation of the programme. In accordance with this recommendation, an independent non-profit organization, based in Seoul, was established in September 2001, and the Secretariat commenced operations on October 25th, 2001 and launched a website at http://www.

The mission of the Secretariat is to serve as a focal contact point and depository for relevant information of the programme. A minimum coordination among individual DUO programmes is indeed indispensable in order to maintain consistency and avoid duplication of the programmes, as well as to maximize the effectiveness of the programmes and minimize the cost of implementation. The Secretariat may also serve, depending of each country's needs, as a centre for the receipt and processing of applications. In that respect, the Secretariat is ready to work with any ASEM partner interested in joining the ASEM-DUO as a donor partner, so as to identify the procedures which would suit best the needs of each partner.

The expert meeting also recommended that the Secretariat be under the supervision of the ASEM SOM and submit reports to the ASEM SOM on its activities.

Progress in Individual DUO Programmes (please refer to Attachment for details)

1) DUO-Korea
Korea has launched its own ASEM-DUO programme in 2001. Korea did not impose any requirements other than those in the core principles, in order to encourage as many applications as possible. The budget for DUO-Korea 2001 was approximately 120,000 Euros, enough to support 10 pairs of student exchanges for a duration of six months.

A total of 63 applications were submitted. The Korean Selection Committee, convened on December 21, 2001, selected sixteen applicants, eight for student exchanges and eight for exchanges of professors. The Korean Selection Committee comprised nine people from four ASEM member countries. The main selection criteria, in addition to the core principles, were a priority to joint lecture and joint degree programmes, and ensuring the widest participation by ASEM member countries and Korean institutions.

These sixteen selected applications involve nine European member countries and nine Korean universities across the country. Participating partner countries for DUO-Korea 2001 were Belgium, Greece, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The first batch of student exchanges began in January 2002 ; several Korean students have already left for the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden, and European students are in Korea since February 2002.

2) DUO-France
DUO-France, financed by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, aims to support co-operation projects (third year of undergraduate and post graduate level) between establishments of higher-education located in France and in the Asian ASEM countries. The general objective is to promote the development, or the creation, of the closest possible links between the establishments associated in a project by financing the exchange of students and professors in pairs. DUO-France does not support existing projects but encourages their development or helps in the creation of new projects.

The request for applications was launched in March 2002 on the site of Secretariat and at national level on the sites of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French Ministry of National Education. The last date for submitting the proposals is April 22, 2002. The response will be communicated by the Secretariat to the applicants by e-mail and will also be available on the website of the Secretariat by June 7, 2002 at the latest.

3) DUO-Singapore
Singapore announced its individual DUO programme during November 2001 for the exchange of people during 2002 and 2003. The budget allocated to DUO-Singapore is USD 1,000,000 over the five years, and supports 18 pairs of exchanges each year. DUO-Singapore Fellowship Award exchanges would focus on both undergraduate and postgraduate students. Exchange of academic staff would also be considered. At the undergraduate level, the exchanges would involve coursework (with credit transfer) as agreed between the participating universities. At the postgraduate level, the exchanges could cover coursework or research.

The Singaporean Ministry of Foreign Affairs will receive recommendations of suitable shortlisted paired applications from the three Singapore universities 1 week after the closing date of application on March 25, 2002. The first batch of exchanges will be selected by May 13, 2002, and despatched by August 2002. More details can be found at

Work Plan for 2002

1) Funds Available for 2002
The funds available for all DUO 2002 programmes are expected to amount to approximately 1,392,000 Euros; this breaks down into 420,000 Euros for DUO-Korea, 366,000 Euros for DUO-France 2001, 366,000 Euros for DUO-France 2002, and 240,000 Euros for DUO-Singapore 2002. It is envisaged that ASEM-DUO activities will be expanded substantially in 2002 depending on the amount of available funds.

2) Increased Efforts for Public Relations and Matching
During the implementation of DUO-Korea 2001, it was evident that many educational institutions showed a strong interest in the exchange programme, but were not able to find partners in the other region. In this regard, greater public relations efforts for the ASEM-DUO Fellowship Programme need to be made, especially by the contact points in each ASEM member country and through EARNs.

The Secretariat is planning to run a matching programme on the Secretariat’s website, by listing those educational institutions which want to establish exchange programmess.

I. ASEM Fellowship Programme (concept paper)
II. Announcement of DUO-Korea and Selected Applications for DUO-Korea 2001
III. Announcement of DUO-France
IV. Progress of DUO-Singapore