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 (SDGs).

ARC takes place biennially, with locations alternating between Asia and Europe.  To date, over 650 university leaders representing 299 universities from 51 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) 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.


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


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