Established in 2008, the ASEF Regional Conference on Higher Education (formerly known as the ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum) (ARC) is a multi-stakeholder dialogue platform for university leaders, policy makers and education practitioners, and students to discuss higher education issues and shape the education landscape in Asia and Europe.

ARC is recognised as the Official Dialogue Partner of the ASEM Education Ministers Meeting (ASEM ME). The ARC programme cycle covers two years and is aligned with the timeline of the ASEM Ministers’ of Education Meetings (ASEMMEs). Its results, including research, policy recommendations, feed into the preparations of ASEM Education Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOMs) and the ASEM Education Ministers Meetings (MEs), which ARC experts are invited to attend.

For the past 10 years, ARC has continuously evolved and contributed with various outputs (policy recommendations, research, and events) to the ASEM Education process, and created opportunities for key Asian and European stakeholders to connect. ARC’s role as a valuable dialogue partner has been reiterated at all ASEMMEs, and its outcomes and outputs helped to sustain a dynamic ASEM Education Process.

Past editions of ARC have brought together over 800 university, student and thought leaders representing 430+ organisations from the 51 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partner countries to discuss emerging higher education issues concerning both regions and to inform ASEM policy makers.

Take a look at the past editions here


  • Engagement in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Education Process, including the biennial ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM ME)
  • Opportunity to shape the evolving Asia-Europe educational landscape, form policy recommendations to thematically responsive capacity trainings
  • Providing evidence and benchmarking reports to incentivise exchanges, dialogues, and further collaboration among the ASEM Partner Countries
  • Network of university leaders across 51 Asian and European countries.


8th ASEF Regional Conference on Higher Education (ARC8)
“Outlook 2030: Inclusive and Diverse Higher Education in Asia and Europe”
11 September 2021, Online

7th ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC7)
“Higher Education Taking Action Towards the Sustainable Development Goals: Perspectives from Asia and Europe”
11-15 May 2019, Bucharest, Romania

6th ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC6)
“Future-ready Universities and Graduates: Quality Education Beyond the Horizon”
9-13 October 2017, Singapore

5th ASEM Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC5)
“Employability: Asia and Europe Prepare the New Generation”
4-8 April 2016, Prague, Czech Republic

4th ASEM Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC4)
“University-Business Partnerships: Asia and Europe Seeking 21st Century Solutions”
23-27 March 2015, Hangzhou, China

3rd ASEM Rectors’ Conference and Students’ Forum (ARC3)
“Universities, Businesses and You: For a Sustainable Future”
24-26 September 2012, Groningen, the Netherlands

2nd ASEM Rectors’ Conference (ARC2)
“Asia-Europe University Cooperation: Contributing to the Global Knowledge Society”
26-27 October 2010, Seoul, Korea

​​​​​​​1st ASEM Rectors’ Conference (ARC1)
“Between Tradition and Reform: Universities in Asia and Europe at the Crossroads”
27-29 October 2008, Berlin, Germany

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