Established in 2008, 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). Its results, including policy recommendations and research, feed into the preparation of ASEM MEs, which ARC rectors and student representatives are invited to attend. As part of the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (GAP), ARC contributes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

ARC takes place biennially, with locations alternating between Asia and Europe. The conference aims to address 3 key areas in higher education: 1) quality and inclusive education, 2) university governance, and 3) university-business partnerships. To date, over 650 university leaders representing 226 universities from 51 Asian and European countries have participated in the conferences.


  • Engagement in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Education Process, including the bi-annual ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting (ASEM ME)
  • Opportunity to shape the evolving Asia-Europe educational landscape, form policy recommendations to thematically responsive capacity trainings
  • Experiential higher education Conference fusing content-focused sessions with hands-on workshops
  • Network of university leaders across 51 Asian and European countries.

Overview of ARC7


The 7th ASEF Rectors’ Conference and Student’s Forum (ARC7) is co-organised by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA) with the support of the Romanian Ministry of National Education, between 11-15 May 2019 in Bucharest, Romania.

The ARC7 Students’ Forum | 11–15 May 2019

  • 5-week Online Preparatory Phase  with webinars,  individual and team tasks
  • 3-day Students’ Forum and joint ventures sessions with the Rectors’ Conference
  • Plenary and working group sessions, skills trainings, and study visits

The ARC7 Rectors’ Conference |  12-14 May 2019

  • 2-day  Rectors’ Conference  and joint sessions with the Students’ Forum
  • Thought-provocative panel discussions  and  interactive  working group sessions

ARC7 will be held in conjunction with the 7th  Asia-Europe Meeting of Ministers for Education  (15-16 May 2019, Bucharest, Romania) and participants will have the chance to meet senior officials and education ministers of  51 Asian and European ASEM partner countries.


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are a universal call for action to shape a better future for all. Universities have a key responsibility to tackle complex societal challenges of our times, manifested in these Goals. ARC invites Asian and European higher education  and student leaders to share how their organisations contribute to policy development and take action towards the Agenda 2030 and to get inspiration from their peers’ strategies.

ARC7 offers a creative space for knowledge exchange on implementing a whole-of-institution approach on sustainable development, teaching the next generation of leaders and thinkers to act sustainably and ethically; conducting research that leads to positive change in our world; and engaging communities outside the walls of academia. The conference also explores how university and student leaders from Asia and Europe can work together towards a “future we want”.

ARC7 explores how higher education can take action  towards achieving the sustainable development goals on three different levels:

  • Taking action at home— SDGs as Core Pillars of University Governance
  • Taking action at  community  level— SDGs as Drivers of University Social Impact
  • Taking action at the international level —  SDGs as a Catalyst to Reorient Internationalisation

For an overview of panel and working group sessions, please see the Rectors’ Conference Programme or the Students’ Forum Programme.


Policy  Recommendations

  • The participants of the Rectors’ Conference will discuss a set of Policy Recommendations prepared by the partner organizations of ARC (EUA, IAU, AUN) in collaboration with a focus group of rectors from Asia and Europe, and the finalized content will be delivered to 7th  ASEM Education Ministers’ Meeting.
  • The Students’ Forum participants will develop another set of Policy Recommendations for the ASEM Education Ministers based on the skills they acquire during the preparation period and based on the knowledge they exchange.
  • Disseminating content on the topic and the SDGs
  • Insight papers on the themes of the conference
  • Op-eds and opinion articles from students on the conference sub-themes
  • Summary and background papers to the policy recommendations

Side events related to the topic

  • Capacity building workshops and conferences, along the topic of ARC7
  • Targeting university and student leaders, managers of the ARC community
  • Hosted by ARC7 partners or participants in  different  ASEM countries


We are proud that ARC7 is co-designed and intellectually supported by major university and student associations of Asia and Europe: ASEAN University Network (AUN); European University Association (EUA); International Association of Universities (IAU); Erasmus Student Network (ESN), European Students’ Union (ESU) and the Erasmus Mundus Students and Alumni Association (EMA).

Co-chaired by:

  • Ms Leonie NAGARAJAN, Director, Education Department, Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)
  • Prof Remus PRICOPIE, Rector, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (SNSPA)


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