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Building Regional Connectivity and Education Partnerships



ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations, was established in 1967 and now has 10 member States and a combined population of over 622 million with 60 percent under 35 years of age. ASEAN is the world’s 7th largest economic region and is predicted to be the world’s 4th largest economic region by 2050.

ASEAN is a key education partner with Australia for education and skills training co-operation and is a region of choice for Australian student mobility programs and transnational education (TNE) co-operation.

In 2015 ASEAN launched the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to build greater regional integration and economic growth. The AEC is targeting harmonisation of qualifications, common training frameworks and freer movement of people across ASEAN borders for work and education.


The purpose of the ASEAN-Australian Education Dialogue is to connect thought leaders, key officials and practitioners in education from ASEAN countries and Australia. The delegates will gather to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities for the future of regional and global engagement in education.The Dialogue will align to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 with a particular focus on Education.

“A fundamental change is needed in the way we think about education’s role in global development, because it has a catalytic impact on the well-being of individuals and the future of our planet. … Now, more than ever, education has a responsibility to be in gear with 21st century challenges and aspirations, and foster the right types of values and skills that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth, and peaceful living together.“

Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

“Education can, and must, contribute to a new vision of sustainable global development.“ (UNESCO, 2015)

Australia is a valued ASEAN +6 partner country alongside Japan, China, India, New Zealand and South Korea. In March 2018, prior to the Dialogue, government and business leaders from each of the 10 ASEAN countries will gather in Sydney for a special leader’s summit hosted by the Australian Prime Minister. Immediately after this, Australian and ASEAN education thought leaders and practitioners will gather in Penang, Malaysia for the inaugural ASEAN-Australia Education Dialogue 2018. The Dialogue will strengthen current links and relations between Australia and ASEAN and establish new ones. Key sectors are Schools, English Language, Vocational and Skills Training, Online Education and Universities.


Experienced and passionate ASEAN and Australian education leaders committed to regional engagement.


Outcomes will seek to align to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on education (SDG’s) 2030 and mobilise key decision makers in education to action these ambitious targets and commitments as they relate to Goal 4-Quality Education.

”Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”


  • The Dialogue will expand people to people and institutional links through education partnerships between ASEAN and Australia.

  • Delegates will have an opportunity to influence future ASEAN-Australia regional and global education engagement.

  • Action plans are developed for future regional and global engagement in education.

  • Australia’s position is strengthened as a key partner with ASEAN in education development

  • There is a potential for ongoing ASEAN Australian Education Dialogues across ASEAN


The location of the inaugural Dialogue in Penang, Malaysia recognises the strong diplomatic and educational links between Australia and Malaysia, the strategic regional location of Malaysia in the centre of ASEAN and alongside key international trade routes. Malaysia is becoming an ASEAN Education hub for international students and is committed to regional development, transnational education excellence, quality assurance and regional integration.

The inaugural AAED in March 2018 is a significant step in building deeper ASEAN Australian Education sector engagement.

We welcome you to join us in Penang from March 21-23 2018

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