Upcoming Events


Subscribe to Newsletter(s)

Asia-Europe Foundation will use the information you provide on this form to send you updates about our activities. Please confirm that you would like to hear from us through the following means:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

6th ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum #ARC6

"Future-ready Universities and Graduates: Quality Education Beyond the Horizon"

Project Period: Contact: Department: Programme: Theme:
9-13 October 2017 Education Department ASEF Rectors' Conference and Students' Forum (ARC) Education


1 ARC6 Top page 


Since its establishment in 2008, the ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC) has been a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform for university leaders, business representatives, policy makers and students to discuss higher education issues and shape the education landscape in Asia-Europe.

ARC is recognised as the Official Dialogue Partner of the ASEM Education Ministers Meeting (ASEM ME). The results deriving from ARC, including policy recommendations and research, feed into the preparations of the ASEM MEs. As part of the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP), ARC also contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with a focus on Goal 4 and 8 (on inclusive and quality education, and decent work and economic growth respectively).

ARC takes place on an annual basis alternating between Asia and Europe. It addresses 3 areas in higher education: 1) quality and inclusive education, 2) university governance, and 3) university-business partnerships. To date, over 650 university leaders representing 225 universities from 51 Asian and European countries have participated in the conferences. 


The 6th edition of the ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC6) addressed the topic of "Future Universities and Graduate: Quality Education Beyond the Horizon" and gathered over 200 representatives from academia, governments, business and industry, students and youth associations as well as NGOs and IGOs.

The ARC6 consisted of 2 programme elements: 1) a Students’ Forum 2) followed by a Rectors’ Conference. Close linkages between the Rectors’ and the Students’ was ensured through a synergic exchange in which 2 Rectors’ attended the Students’ Forum as Mentors and several Students’ participate throughout the Rectors’ Conference.

Specifically, ARC6 aimed to:

  • Contribute to the policy dialogue on higher education in Asia and Europe and provide input to the agenda of ASEM Education Ministers
  • Support the implementation of the SDG
  • Facilitate cooperation and long-term partnerships among universities across Asia and Europe
  • Enable collaborations among student networks and associations
  • Strengthen the linkages between universities, governments, business and industry, IOs and NGOs, and local communities



9-13 October 2017




No registration
or participation fee*


*For Students' Forum (9-12 October 2017):
The organisers will provide participants with travel subsidy, meals and accommodation

For Rectors' Conference (12-13 October 2017):
The organisers will provide travel grants based on financial needs and meals.

ARC6 Logos Screenshot small

Funded by the European Union

Project Updates

  • The 6th ASEM Education Ministers' Meeting (ASEMME6) took place on 21-22 November 2017 in Seoul, South Korea. The representatives of the 53 ASEM partners discussed the results of the bi-regional cooperation in the field of education in the last two years, as well as a common vision for the next decade of their cooperation. They adopted the Seoul Declaration titled "Enhancing Collaboration between Asia and Europe in Education and Training – A vision for the Next Decade".

    On this occasion, the partners of ASEF and stakeholders of the ASEM Education Process represented the students and universities, and ensured that civil society members also get a voice at the table. They also presented the policy recommendations of the

    to the ministers.

    The ASEAN University Network (AUN) highlighted the ARC5 Rectors' Recommendations on (1) encouraging "employment-friendly" curriculum, (2) acknowledging the importance of work-study balance, and (3) better policies to address the challenges of the new economy. The European Association of Students' Union presented the ARC5 Students' Recommendations on (1) how to develop a continuous multi-stakeholder dialogue between policy makers and students, (2) the need to acknowledge work experience in the new economy, and (3) fostering mobility, accessibility, and funding.

    The European University Association (EUA) summarized the ARC6 Rectors' Policy Recommendations on (1) supporting forward-looking institutional missions, (2) connecting learning, teaching, research, and service, (3) acknowledging lifelong learning as a key mission of universities, and (4) ensuring accessibility towards quality education for all. The Erasmus Student Network (ESN) highlighted the ARC6 Students' Policy Recommendations on (1) access to quality education, (2) lifelong learning, and (3) interdisciplinarity in education and research.
    Several ministers' endorsed the recommendations in their comments, and Romania announced its readiness to organise the next ASEF Rectors' Conference and Student's Forum, in conjuntion with the 7th ASEM Education Ministers' Meeting in May 2019 in Bucharest, Romania.

  • 50 Students and 134 participants, including university leaders, regional organisations and business representatives from all 51 ASEM partner countries, gathered in Singapore on 9 - 13 October 2017 for the 6th ASEF Rectors' Conference and Students' Forum (ARC6). Held in partnership with the Singapore Management University (SMU), the multi-stakeholder platform was themed 'Future-ready Universities and Graduates: Quality Education Beyond the Horizon' and consisted of 2 programme elements: a Students' Forum, followed by the Rectors' Conference, both of which consisted of panel discussions, skills trainings, study visits and working group sessions that focused on the following 3 sub-topics:

    1. Interdisciplinarity in Education and Research: How can education/research build upon the diversity and inherent interdependencies of academic disciplines?
    2. Lifelong Learning: Holistic and Global Education: What are the suitable approaches in combining values, knowledge and skills training to make universities a hotspot for building more socially and environmentally responsible universities and graduates? Is learning on-the-go the future of education?
    3. Access to Quality Education: What are some of the strategies that universities could adopt to integrate disability, technology and financial issues in ensuring an inclusive education curriculum, and what could be the role of the students in this process?

    HE Dr Janil PUTHUCHEARY, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Education of Singapore and HE Liviu-Marian POP, Minister of National Education of Romania graced the closing plenary of the conference and took part in a dialogue session with the participants on the topic of "ASEM Education Collaboration". ARC6 resulted in 2 Policy Recommendation sets, representing the perspectives of universities as well as students, which were handed over to the respective ministers. The recommendations were also channeled and conveyed by ARC6 representatives at the ASEM Education Ministers' Meeting (ASEMME6) that took place on 21 - 22 November 2017 in Seoul, Korea.

  • ASEF E-Newsletter Image Edu

    The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), in partnership with the Singapore Management University, will hold the 6th ASEF Rectors' Conference and Students' Forum (ARC6) on 9-13 October 2017, in Singapore. As a run up to the Conference, we are publishing a series of articles on quality education, the latest being a commissioned paper written by Ambassador Prof Jørgen Ørstrøm MØLLER, ASEF Governor for Denmark and Visiting Senior Fellow at ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore.

    Titled "Interdisciplinary and Holistic Education and Research", the paper explores the role interdisciplinary education plays in finding solutions for the challenges of the future.

    "Interdisciplinary and holistic education and research is indispensable because tomorrow key players will ask for the ability to combine cognitive skills with teamwork and debate focus on adaptability and adjustment", he writes.

    A multi-stakeholder dialogue platform that brings university leaders, students, policy-makers, and business representatives together, ARC6 will highlight the hurdles and opportunities that lay encapsulated, in the theme "Future-ready Universities and Graduates: Quality Education Beyond the Horizon".

    "There is a need for a new social contract with education and research (universities) playing a much more direct role in forging societies, and with government, business, and societies interacting much more with universities", Ambassador Prof Jørgen Ørstrøm MØLLER added.

    Inquisitive about Ambassador Prof Jørgen Ørstrøm MØLLER's take on the future of education? Read the full paper here.

  • The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in partnership with the Singapore Management University will hold the 6th ASEF Rectors' Conference and Students' Forum (ARC6) on 9-13 October 2017, in Singapore.

    According to SMU President, Professor Arnoud DE MEYER, universities must be aware of emerging trends and innovations to provide graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills.

    "Quality education, in the greater sense, should constantly evolve, changing the learning environment and approach so as to better prepare graduates to thrive amidst disruptions", he said.

    ARC6 will uncover, explore and analyse the obstacles and opportunities embedded in the topic, "Future-ready Universities and Graduates: Quality Education Beyond the Horizon".

    "Let's embrace and lead the waves of disruption together by discussing our critical roles and actions as key stakeholders in higher education on the global stage," Professor DE MAYER added, encouraging the active participation of key players in the education sector in the upcoming gathering.

    The large-scale Conference invites university leaders, students, policy-makers and business representatives to share good practices and jointly propose the future direction of Asia-Europe education. "SMU looks forward to hosting you at the ARC6 in the heart of Singapore's vibrant city, for a robust discussion that will drive meaningful change", he said.

    Curious about the Singaporean take on quality education and the SMU-way of applying the concept? Read Professor DE MEYER's full interview here

  • The ASEF Education Department (ASEFEdu) launches its article series on “Access to Education and Youth Employment” this July on the new ASEFEdu LinkedIn page. With subjects ranging from long-term approaches to youth employment to case studies of innovative initiatives across Asia and Europe, the comprehensive and varied content will appeal to diverse audiences. 

    The first article, “A New Educational Framework for Responsible Leaders” by Ms Paloma CANTERO GÓMEZ, examines why the educational framework must be redefined, while analysing the values that should underpin such a framework. It also explores how young people must be empowered to shape their futures.

    She raises these prescient issues arising from the 5th OECD Informal Working Group on Skills & Education held on 16–18 May 2017 in Lisbon, Portugal. An alumnus of the 1st ASEF Young Leaders Summit (ASEFYLS1), CANTERO GÓMEZ is the co-founder and CEO of YouthProAktiv and a constituent of the “Forbes 30 under 30” list in 2017.

    Subsequent articles will continue to inform and challenge perceptions of multifarious issues relating to “Access to Education and Youth Employment”, in line with the Asia-Europe Foundation’s (ASEF) aim to inspire action. Whether you are a policy-maker, academic, business, educator, student or young professional, the ASEF Education Department’s portfolio of projects can facilitate your next move. 

    Are you a student interested in shaping the future of higher education in Asia and Europe? Apply to participate in the 6th ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum on "Future-ready Universities and Graduates: Quality Education Beyond the Horizon" on 9–13 October 2017 in Singapore. Deadline for applications is on Sunday, 16 July 2017, GMT 23.59.

  • What are the needs and expectations of future-ready universities and graduates? In a world that can often be seen as volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, how can institutions and individuals best evaluate and adapt their approaches to ensure quality education?

    The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) invites students of all academic disciplines to the 6th ASEF Rectors' Conference and Students' Forum (ARC6) on 9–13 October 2017 at the Singapore Management University (SMU) in Singapore to address these challenges. ARC6 brings together university leaders, government officials, business representatives, and students to share good practices and propose ideas related to quality education today and in the future.

    Participants contribute to a multidisciplinary and cross-sector dialogue with a 3-fold thematic focus on: interdisciplinary, holistic and translational education and research; lifelong learning; and access to quality education. With their peers from 51 ASEM partner countries, students can communicate and represent the youth voice in the ASEM Education Process.

    The dynamic and innovative programme enables interaction with university rectors, business leaders, and policy-makers, while channeling perspectives directly to the ASEM Ministers for Education. Travel subsidies, accommodation and meals will be provided.

    Eligibility criteria:

    • 18-30 years-old
    • University student
    • Citizen of an ASEM partner country
    • Excellent oral and written English
    • Demonstrable passion to shape future-ready education
    • Experience in student policy matters

    Seize the opportunity to shape education's future in Asia and Europe!

    ARC6 is the latest edition in the ARC project series. View the results and impact of the 5th Rectors' Conference and Students' Forum (ARC5) on 4–8 April 2016, in Prague, Czech Republic.

We use cookies to optimise the use of our website. Read our cookie policy and privacy policy. Yes, I'm ok with that.