ASEAN-QA Forum 2019 in Hanoi, Vietnam

Frank Niedermeier


The ASEAN-QA FORUM took place from 7th November 2019 until 8th November 2019 at Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, Vietnam. The Forum on the theme "Networking for Building and Sustaining Quality Culture in Higher Education Institutions" was attended by more than 250 participants including quality managers and directors as well as university managers, students, and also quality assurance agencies, ministries and representatives of employers. This forum represented the conclusion of the ASEAN-QA project and the launch of the ASEAN Quality Assurance Association (ASEAN-QAA), which was initiated by the alumni of the project.

Ensuring and developing the quality of learning and teaching is a dynamic and challenging topic for universities worldwide. Quality development must always be able to react flexibly to new external and internal issues and transformations, and recognize them in good time in order to handle them adequately. It is very difficult for a university to do this on its own. In cooperation with the University of Potsdam, universities in Southeast Asia have now founded the ASEAN Quality Assurance Association and established a forum for regional exchange.

The ASEAN-QA Forum 2019 at the Foreign Trade University in Vietnam was organized for the first time in Southeast Asia for the involved stakeholders and partner countries. The participants also included partners from Europe and Germany, involving students from the University of Potsdam, who together with students from 10 Southeast Asian countries discussed their role in the quality management of higher education institutions.

With the establishment of the ASEAN Quality Assurance Association (ASEAN-QAA), the alumni aim to promote further exchange as well as build support and develop capacities in the region.

ASEAN-QAA new elected President Jamaluddin B. Ibrahim of the Universiti Petronas (Malaysia) thanked for the confidence he had been given and reaffirmed the importance of maintaining the cooperation:

"The ASEAN-QAA would like to continue to bring together universities in Southeast Asia on the subject of quality development and pool our knowledge and resources, so that the quality of teaching and study programs are continuously enhanced and comparable in ASEAN. The ASEAN-QA Forum, with more than 250 participants, was a very successful launch and has shown that there is an overwhelming interest in the goals of our network. We look forward to the future cooperation, especially with our European partners! "

With over 20 activities and more than 100 participating higher education institutions and quality assurance agencies, the ASEAN-QA project has had since 2011 a crucial impact on capacity building and the development of internal and external quality assurance.  It has also contributed to the harmonization of higher education systems in Southeast Asia.