The 2nd Southeast Asian Conference on Education (SEACE2021)
The education scene in Southeast Asia is one of the most dynamic, entrepreneurial and competitive in the world, with more than 12 million students enrolled in around 7,000 higher education institutions across the region, reflecting the ASEAN’s growth in relevance and weight in the global economy and politics. The fast-growing middle-class propels the inherently diverse ASEAN Community to set educational standards for the relatively youthful and growing population that are globally competitive and yet locally grounded, as can be witnessed by the achievements of the universities in Singapore.
While Singapore is often spoken as an exception, it nevertheless is an integral part of the ASEAN’s goal to establish a “common space for higher education” and efforts to promote trans-national education to enhance human resource development that foster greater economic, social and political integration among the 10 diverse nations. To this end, the case of Singapore is also a reminder that raising the standard and quality of education in poorer members of ASEAN is still a real challenge that must be addressed collectively.
The goals and aspirations for education in ASEAN may be clear but the environment is complex, as national institutions must compete with global competitors from outside ASEAN, such as US, UK and Australian universities that have been long been popular destinations for Southeast Asian students to study abroad. The trend of overseas universities establishing campuses in ASEAN countries, and the fast-changing educational requirements, skills and qualifications compound the situation with additional hurdles.
The Southeast Asian Conference on Education seeks to identify the challenges and highlight the strength in the way ASEAN countries address and tackle the region’s educational needs, at both the national level and at the region-wide level, such as internationalisation, multiculturalism, connectivity, mobility and accessibility. What are the challenges of reforming national-level primary and secondary education system conducive to enhancing trans-national education within ASEAN and to forging ASEAN identity? What are the benefits of trans-national education models that the rest of the world, particularly ASEAN’s neighbour to the north, learn from? As a vibrant hub of eager and motivated youth, the future of education around the world surely cannot ignore what is happening in Southeast Asia.
SEACE2021 encourages academics and scholars to meet and exchange ideas and views in a forum stimulating respectful dialogue. Like our long-running events elsewhere in the world, our first in Southeast Asia will afford an exceptional opportunity for renewing old acquaintances, making new contacts, networking, and facilitating partnerships across national and disciplinary borders.
We look forward to welcoming scholars from across Southeast Asia and around the world for what is sure to be a great conference.