Launched in 2015, the program is a consortium of the British Council, DAAD, ENQA and Nuffic that aims to “support the establishment of an ASEAN Higher Education Space”.

“Aside from policy dialogues, SHARE has also awarded around 600 scholarships, enabling ASEAN students to study in 42 universities, across both the ASEAN and EU regions,” said H.E. Kung Phoak, deputy secretary-general of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

“SHARE has also awarded around 600 scholarships”

“Over 1,300 education personnels across ASEAN have also benefitted from the program through various workshops and trainings.”

The new phase will be backed by €5 million from the EU and €175,000 from the British Council, which has remained in the program despite Brexit.

“As strategic partners, the EU and ASEAN put human development, in particular education, at the heart of our partnerships,” said EU ambassador to ASEAN Igor Driesmans.

“Education mobility is part and parcel of the EU’s DNA. Beyond the support for 300 intra-ASEAN scholarships, the SHARE program will help to create a sustainable ASEAN Higher Education Space, drawing lessons from the European experience of the Erasmus program and the Bologna Process.”

ASEAN is home to more than 7,000 universities and around 12 million students, with around 223 million people – a third of ASEAN’s population – aged 15-35.

Part of SHARE’s work also focuses on developing great intra-regional mobility in education which has traditionally been quite weak. A report from the program last year found that while ASEAN inbound and outbound mobility has increased, in 2018 less than 10% of that was between member states.

“It’s been an aspiration for ASEAN for a long time to develop a higher education space, [and] greater harmonisation and internationalisation between the countries,” Darren McDermott, team leader of the program, told The PIE News.

“The SHARE program since 2015 has been heavily involved in putting in place the architecture to support that.”

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