Professor Miki Sugimura of the Department of Education joined a panel discussion at “The Future of Asia”

Dr. Kosaikanont, Director of SEAMEO RIHED (right), Professor Sugimura of Sophia University (center), Professor Deeks, President of IAU (screen)

Considering higher education on a regional scale in Asia, rather than on an individual national level

The venue attracted many participants from Japan and abroad.

On May 23 and 24, the 29th Nikkei Forum “The Future of Asia” hosted by Nikkei Inc. was held in Tokyo, attracting many international guests from around the world. The conference has been held since 1995, bringing together political, economic, and academic leaders from the Asia Pacific region for an open exchange of views on various issues within Asia and its role within the global community. Professor Miki Sugimura of the Department of Education, Faculty of Human Sciences at Sophia University, which has been supporting the conference as an academic partner since last year, participated in a panel discussion on higher education in Asia.

On the first day, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim of Malaysia and Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai of Vietnam, and on the second day, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin of Thailand, and Deputy Prime Minister Gan Kim Yong of Singapore, were among the Asian leaders who took the podium to speak on the roles of their countries in light of the global state of affairs. In addition, panel discussions were held on various themes such as economic policy, finance, diplomacy, education, and the environment, and Professor Sugimura joined the panel discussion titled “International Collaboration in Higher Education and Intellectual Community in Asia” held on the first day of the conference.

The program also featured speakers Dr. Romyen Kosaikanont, Director of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Regional Centre specializing in higher education and development (SEAMEO RIHED) and Professor Andrew J Deeks, President of International Association of Universities (IAU), participated online. Focusing on Asian institutions of higher education, which are rapidly growing in demand as host institutions for international students from all over the world, including African countries, the discussion focused on the current state of international collaboration in education and research programs and the challenges of enhancing the quality of education transcending national borders.

Professor Sugimura discusses future challenges for Asian higher education.

There are now several higher education networks in Asia, forming higher education spheres. ASEAN International Mobility for Students (AIMS) run by RIHED where Dr. Kosaikanont serves is one of them, and Sophia University is a member of AIMS. Referring to the exchange of higher education between Japan and Asia and the current efforts in ESD (Education for Sustainable Development), Professor Sugimura stated that the issue of geopolitical educational disparity should not be overlooked in the process of building a community of knowledge that transcends national borders, and that the creation of programs to support socially vulnerable groups through higher education is a key issue to be addressed within an international network.

Professor Deeks stated that in the field of higher education, it is no longer possible for each country to meet its own demands within its own nations as how people and information traverse national borders nowadays. Recognizing that our future is a shared one, he concluded that it is important to form consortiums based on multicultural understanding.

At the end of the session, questions were asked by the participants online about the future use of the Metaverse in higher education and the potential of online education, and the speakers shared their insights with their respective views.

Sophia University

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