The Capacity Building Workshop on Equitable Access and Success in Higher Education was a 5-week learning journey, conducted online from 15 November – 17 December 2021, which brought together 34 university managers, academics, and researchers engaged in promoting equitable access and success in their respective higher education institutions. The concept of this workshop series was inspired by the outcomes of the 8th ASEF Regional Conference on Higher Education (ARC8).

The Capacity Building Workshop had four key objectives:

  • To increase participants’ knowledge of the concept of equitable access and success in higher education
  • To facilitate the exchange of good practices among universities in Asia and Europe
  • To inspire participants to take action in their home institutions
  • To build a network of practitioners sharing a joint mission to keep improving equity in higher education


34 Participants

The Capacity Building Workshop brought together 34 University Managers, Academics, and Researchers who were in a position to influence university policy and take action in promoting equitable access and success in the university. These included roles in admissions and career guidance, student guidance and support services, international mobility, digital transformation of teaching activities, and curriculum development and programme design. To learn more about the participants, view the Participants Booklet Here.

Leading Experts

Experts on equitable access and success gave presentations and addressed questions from the participants throughout the workshop series. The list of experts and the topic of their presentations can be found below, and their presentations can be viewed.

You can view the playlist of the recorded presentations by the experts, click here.


The workshop series was co-facilitated by Dr Graeme Atherton, Director of the National Education Opportunities Network (NEON), The United Kingdom; and Ms Mary Tupan-Wenno, Executive Director of ECHO, Center for Diversity Policy, The Netherlands. Dr Edizon Fermin, Vice President for Academic Affairs at The National Teachers College, Philippines, facilitated the Sharing Sessions which provided more time for participants to network, collaborate, and share good practices.

Young Reporters

Two ASEF Young Reporters covered the Capacity Building Workshop, writing articles and a joint report to engage youth and a broader audience beyond higher education professionals. These reporters were Mr CHEE Yik Wai, Malaysia; and Ms Agnese CIGLIANO, Italy.

Mr CHEE Yik Wai, Co-founder at Crowdsukan, Malaysia
Article 1: How Strong Partnerships and International Mobility Help Achieve Equitable Access and Success in Higher Education
Article 2: Why We Need Empathy, Diversity and Inclusion For Equitable Access and Success in Higher Education

Ms Agnese CIGLIANO, Policy and Communications Coordinato, Italy
Article 1: Higher Education on a Journey for Equality and Success
Article 2: The Agent of Change Challenge: Measuring Results to Amplify Impact


The workshop series took place entirely online and utilised both Synchronous and Asynchronous methods:
  • Weekly Synchronous Lessons
    Sessions took place every Friday from 7.00 to 9.00 UTC (Time Converter). These facilitator-led sessions featured leading experts from across Asia and Europe. Sessions were designed for knowledge sharing and provided time for collaboration.
  • Asynchronous Lessons and the ASEF eLearning Platform
    The ASEF eLearning Platform provides the option for self-paced study which includes literature, educational videos, and case studies.

The weekly breakdown of topics discussed are:

Week 1 | Target Group and Value Proposition
Week 2 | Activities and Resources
Week 3 | Stakeholders
Week 4 | Measuring Outcomes and Impact
Week 5 | Summary and presentation of action plans

To learn more programme, click here.


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28 Action Plans

By the end of the Capacity Building, Workshop participants had developed 28 Action Plans that promoted equitable access and success in higher education. Participants developed these action plans specifically for their organization.

Overall, the workshop helped participants develop Action Plans to either widen access and admission for underrepresented groups; designate equity initiatives in teaching, policies, and student services; ensure successful completion of studies, prevent drop-out; or increase student success and feeling of belonging. To view the Action Plan Booklet, click here.

Participants were featured in the Insights Videos which highlight their takeaways from the learning journey with ASEF. To hear from the participants themselves, watch all the Insights Videos below:

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