神戸大学大学院国際協力研究科 復旦大学国際関係・公共事務学院 高麗大学校国際大学院

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International Symposium: “The Future Development of the CAMPUS Asia Program: Learning from US, European and Asian Experiences”

  This international symposium was held on February 25, 2013 in the JICA Kansai briefing room at Kobe University as part of the CAMPUS Asia Program. The symposium was held with the aim of further building upon the success of the CAMPUS Asia Program in facilitating three-way exchanges between Japan, China and Korea over the last year by extending similar experiences to the US, Europe, and other countries and regions around Asia. In addition to domestic and international researchers and experts from a broad range of fields, three CAMPUS Asia Program participating students from China's Fudan University attended the symposium.

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  The event featured lively discussions tabled by three presenters and three commentators. Pittsburgh University's John Wiedman opened with a presentation on “Cross-Border Higher Education: Types, Issues and Prospects”. Professor Wiedman defined cross-border higher education as the provision of higher education services by an educational institution in a country other than its national home, either independently or in conjunction with another domestic institution, with the purpose of 1) offering coursework towards a degree or certification or 2) issuing an academic degree or completion certificate. Discussions among a diverse collection of representatives from government, institutions of higher education, students and quality assurance groups addressed the wide ranging complexities affecting cross-border higher education, such as educational methodology, the roles of branch campuses, franchises, double degrees and joint degrees, as well as mutual degree recognition and E-learning. Finally, policy implications were addressed that affect educational program quality, sustainability and brain-drain issues based on several examples from Gulf States.
  Next, Senior Education Specialist Dr. Yasushi Hirosato of the Asian Development Bank's Southeast Asian Human and Social Development Program spoke on various initiatives underway at various ASEAN universities in his presentation entitled, “Higher Education Harmonization and Networking in Southeast Asia: Accelerating Regional Initiatives towards an Integrated ASEAN Community”. Dr. Hirosato also described various efforts at higher education harmonization already underway in the ASEAN region by such organizations as the ASEAN University Network (AUN), Southeast Asian Ministers of Education (SEAMEO) and its Regional Center for Higher Education and Development (RIHED). Among various efforts at regional harmonization, Dr. Hirosato highlighted the role of quality assurance systems (QAS) and credit transfer systems (CTS) as being some of the most significant, and also touched on the status of progress of the ASEAN International Mobility for Students Program (AIMS). The Asian Development Bank reported on efforts to support the ASEAN region through their central 10-year SEAMEO college program in east Asia. Finally, the need was stressed for further opportunities to integrate philosophies and principals to achieve important networking and address issues and aspects of transparency, independence, mobility and sustainability affecting joint educational programs among various countries.
  Lastly, Dr. Akira Ninomiya, Vice President of The Open University of Japan, gave a presentation on various initiatives at Japanese universities entitled, “CAMPUS Asia Program: From Japanese Perspectives?” Dr. Ninomiya began by introducing research by David McNeill, which touched on the success of how agreeing to the CAMPUS Asia program marked an important first step towards improving mobility within the region among students and faculty in order to further harmonize higher education in Asia, which is a goal of the Japanese, Chinese and Korean governments, as these countries have often contributed students to Western universities. Furthermore, three universities in attendance (Kobe University, Fudan University and Korea University) reached a consensus and emphasized the importance of mutual recognition towards academic calendars, credit unit calculations, conditions for degree conferment and qualifications recognition among different university systems, and after recognizing various cultural, policy and language barriers between the three countries, discussed the need between them to further seek more effective management solutions.
  A panel of commentators then commented on the three presentations in a panel discussion session. First, in a comment to Dr. Weidmen, John Gillies, Senior Vice President and Director of FHI 360, an international NGO in Washington DC, pointed out the need for having a clear vision as well as effective monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems in place in order to further develop the CAMPUS Asia program. This was followed by a comment from Satoko Yano, Program Specialist in Education Policy and Reform Unit in UNESCO Asia Office to Dr. Hirosato, who highlighted the importance of harmonizing higher education development initiatives among the Asian region through bilateral talks, and also made an appeal for private sector financial support to guarantee the sustainability of the CAMPUS Asia Program. Finally, in a comment to Dr. Ninomiya, Vice President of The Open University of Japan, Dr. Tatsuo Kawashima of Kobe University's Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies pointed out differences in developmental histories between East Asian and European universities, and called for sufficient understanding of such issues when debating ways to harmonize and integrate between university systems. Finally, in order to further advance the CAMPUS Asia Program, the need was also pointed out for adequately recognizing differences between university systems, such as academic calendars, languages of instruction and academic credit transfer systems.

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  During a question and answer session, CAMPUS Asia Program committee members debated actual plans of action with participating students, the future outlook for the program, and the need to develop further collaborative efforts among institutions of higher education in East Asia and among program participants. Ultimately, several specific issues were identified by program participants, such as 1) the need for intentional and active harmonization of cross-border higher education after recognizing that the CAMPUS Asia Program plays a certain role in facilitating exchange between universities in participating countries; 2) the need to expand the program in the future from a regional to global platform; 3) the need for work opportunities for CAMPUS Asia program graduates, and the need to explore methods for educating employers about the value of the program; 4) the need to look at possibilities for having participating students from the three universities (Kobe University, Fudan University and Korea University) to be able to reside in all of the other universities in some fashion; and 5) the need for program participants to prepare for cultural and language differences before leaving for another CAMPUS Asia country. The symposium was highly successful, having offered a valuable opportunity for dialogue on the future possibilities of the CAMPUS Asia Program.