Year 2003

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Chaiman's Statement of the 2nd Expert Meeting for ASEM-DUO Fellowship Programme

November 14, 2003

1) Participants in the 2nd Expert Meeting shared a view that ASEM-DUO Fellowship Program (ASEM-DUO) was quite successful, considering the number of applications and awardees, and the short history of the program. The Secretariat has served efficiently as the center for implementation and a focal point of the programme, despite its establishment only in September 2001.

2) Participants noted that there is a tendency that exchanges are concentrated to large economies in the ASEM members, while financial contributions from members do not match such tendency. Also, there is a special need to increase participation by ASEAN members as there are no contributing members from ASEAN except Singapore. Participants urged ASEM members to actively participate both as contributing and participating partners, and pay special attention to exchanges with ASEAN members.

3) Current level of financial contribution is about 1.3 million Euros from Denmark, France, Korea and Singapore in 2003. However, rapid increase in the popularity and the number of applications necessitate the expansion of contributing members.

4) The ASEM-DUO was endorsed at ASEM III, and the commitment for financial contribution from most members extends until 2005. Considering that ASEM V will be held in 2004 and ASEM VI in 2006, participants discussed the need for ASEM member countries to consider the expansion and extension of the ASEM-DUO during ASEM V. The participants also recommended that the Director-General of the Secretariat make a presentation at the next SOM on the progress and status of the ASEM-DUO.

5) Participants concurred that the financial grant under the ASEM-DUO is generous and the procedure of the ASEM-DUO is rather simple. In these regards, it was agreed that the evaluation procedures and quality of exchanges should be enhanced.

6) It was noted that credit transfer is the main element of student exchange that will help make the exchange more worthwhile and attractive

7) A further flexibility in core principles is needed in terms of duration of stay to correspond with different academic calendars of universities in ASEM countries. Participants shared the view that the unit of ‘semester’ would fit in the programme.

8) Despite efforts by members and the Secretariat, information on ASEM-DUO needs to be known much widely. In this regard, participants took note of best practices by contributing members in information dissemination and finding partners, and urged other members to more actively disseminate information to their institutions by collaborating with their respective education and foreign ministries, international organizations/associations and Asia-Europe Foundation as well. The Secretariat for the ASEM DUO Programme was asked to collect information on student exchange activities carried out by member countries, with a view to exploring cooperation with such activities. END