1st CALOHEA National Meeting at Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia, 2 – 3 March 2023

The CALOHEA project, Measuring and Comparing Achievements of Learning Outcomes in Higher Education in Asia, was initiated in 2021 and has ever since been the key project towards curriculum development and mobility in the higher education landscape of South-East Asia. The project is funded under the EU Erasmus+ Programme, coordinated by the University of Groningen and co-coordinated by the ASEAN University Network. Long in the making since the middle of 2022, from the 2nd to the 3rd of March, 2023, the first CALOHEA National Meeting was conducted at Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Indonesia. A total of 184 participants, 68 on-site, 116 online, from 54 universities in 4 countries attended the National Meeting. From here, is another step towards bringing Higher Education in Asia into a common space and enhancing mobility between SEA countries and even to other regions by implementing the 3 Core Recognition Mechanisms (RM3) into SEA Universities.

“The CALOHEA program was set up to help several universities in Indonesia to contribute to internationalization through developing a series of interrelated measures indispensable for improving recognition of higher education degrees.” – Data Iranata, ST, MT, Ph.D, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember

The purpose of the National Meeting is to bring the top universities of the SEA region together to validate the 3 Recognition Mechanisms at the national level. As for the process of the NM throughout the two days, the first day had the objective of presenting a general overview and the benefits of the CALOHEA project to the public. It first started with knowledge sharing sessions regarding the overview of the CALOHEA project and the Recognitions Mechanisms. Following this were the open sessions where speakers ranging from professors, academic staff, employers, and students were invited to discuss on the topic: “Challenge of Student Mobility/ Degree Recognition/Internationalisation: Prospect and Challenges under National and HEIs’ Context”

“CALOHEA is an important project to open up discussion on recognition mechanisms. This is particularly useful for Indonesia since many of our students opt for external activities such as one-semester internship under the “Campus of Freedom” (MBKM) program. I’m sure other ASEAN countries face similar issues to a different extent, hence dialogues and seminars on this must be highly sought for by university administrators.” – Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eric Wibisono, Universitas Surabaya

Then, the second day comes rolling by and it is workshop day! The goal of the workshop was to provide details on each CALOHEA Recognition Mechanism, its implementation, and to gather feedback from workshop participants. After the workshop, the 1st CALOHEA National Meeting came to a conclusion with a final Roundtable Meeting with the participation of University of Groningen, the CALOHEA Institutional Team, the CALOHEA Country team, and the workshop moderators, to discuss the way forward for the implementation, expansion, and the deployment of CALOHEA at the national level.

The meetings, workshops, open discussions, and knowledge sharing, it seems like there is plenty going around in multiple ways but it all leads back to the ultimate goal of the CALOHEA Project, driving intra and interregional mobility. How does it achieve this? Firstly, it creates a platform, one that enables practitioners from both ASEAN and Europe to exchange knowledge and experiences between each other. Under the principles of mobility and the three recognition mechanisms, the resulting collaboration opens the doors towards mutually recognizing academic degree competencies between institutions. Within the ASEAN region, academic institutions can join forces to help each other towards realizing common degree recognition mechanisms. Through the sharing of ideas from different country contexts, the platform is the key to the best way to drive mobility and internationalization in each country. Another big strength of CALOHEA is applicability. The processes and tools can be contextualized and replicated for any other disciplines, further widening the possibilities of intra and interregional mobilities, connecting people together.

As this was the first CALOHEA NM in the campaign of many more to come soon throughout the year. For more information about the Three Recognition Mechanisms and all the upcoming National Meetings in 7 ASEAN Countries, please visit the CALOHEA website at: https://calohea.org 

Interested in seeing more? Video coverage of the event can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qw_yFEUKhJA&t=1s