The CALOHEA 6th General Meeting: Driving Towards the Advancements of Recognition Mechanisms in ASEAN Higher Education

The CALOHEA Project (Measuring and Comparing Achievements of Learning Outcomes in Higher Education in Asia) reached another milestone as 80 participants gathered for the 6th General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur. From 7 – 9 June 2023, the event brought together experts, academics, and stakeholders from across Southeast Asian and Europe to discuss the project’s progress on the implementation of the three key Recognition Mechanisms, specially in the authentic assessment of internationally comparable learning outcomes in degree programs, setting the stage for the enhanced internationalization opportunities for students in ASEAN higher education. The three days of intensive discussion on diverse agendas encompassed a range of topics critical to the project’s overarching goals.

The meeting kicked off on 7 June 2023 with an opening plenary session by Dr. Robert Wagenaar from University of Groningen and Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti, the AUN Executive Director, extended a warm welcome to all attendees. The session was followed by a comprehensive overview of the meeting’s structure and agenda, presented by Dr. Pablo Beneitone and Dr. Maria Yarosh, also from the University of Groningen. They shed light on the state of the art in the Lines/Recognition Mechanisms (RMs) 1-3 and outlined the tasks to be accomplished during the 6th General Meeting.

One of the focal points of the meeting was the work conducted in Subject Area Groups (SAG). The participants delved into their respective SAG to focus on each RM, starting with RM1: the creation and use of Regional Subject-Specific Qualifications and Assessment Reference Frameworks to enable greater comparability of institutional degree programs. They reviewed and refined existing frameworks, incorporating feedback received during the first round of National Meetings. Additionally, the groups worked on mapping current existing programs to the CALOHEA Subject-Specific Qualifications Reference Framework, providing practical demonstrations of how the framework facilitates comparisons between higher education programs.

Simultaneously, the groups concentrated on RM3: implementation of authentic assessment of internationally comparable learning outcomes in degree programs. They presented their progress on the short-term part of the action plans aimed at achieving full implementation of authentic assessment. The discussions among SAG coordinators and members strived to identify best practices in authentic assessment of program learning outcomes, which would be included in an extensive collection of inspirational examples. This collection will serve as a valuable resource for diverse institutional, geographical, and subject-area contexts across Southeast Asian countries. The development of this product holds immense potential and permits

– those who contribute to its creation to enhance their assessment of all learning outcomes in at least one dimension;
– project participants to learn from their peers within the SAG, gaining inspiration and insights for improving assessments;
– individuals not directly involved in the project to gain access to concrete real-life examples;
– policymakers and academic associations to find the tangible materials to be used in promoting training and internationalization efforts across Southeast Asia and beyond, as well as at national level of each Partner Country; and
– students to receive better higher education and be better prepared for life and work in the global context.

On 8 June 2023, the discussions continued in SAG, now concentrating on RM2: installment of the culture of student workload measurement as an integral part of curriculum design. Participants shared their findings and lessons learned from implementing the culture of student workload measurement as an integral part of curriculum design. They explored the use of tools like the Diary/Logbook and Focus Groups to measure student workload effectively.

The meeting concluded on a high note with the closing plenary session on 9 June 2023. Participants presented the work accomplished in their SAG, showcasing the significant progress achieved during the meeting. Exciting next steps of the project were also outlined in this session, promising further advancements to propel the CALOHEA project and its mission to improve higher education across Asia.

Furthermore, the meeting provided an opportunity for project members from each of the seven countries engaged in CALOHEA to not only reflect on the outcomes of the initial round of CALOHEA National Meetings but also engage in constructive discussions regarding the forthcoming second round of National Meetings. In the concluding sessions, participants actively collaborated within country-specific groups to strategize and meticulously plan the upcoming National Meetings, encompassing considerations such as formats, structures, and effective dissemination strategies.

A special focus of the session was also placed on the CALOHEA Global Information Campaign, emphasizing its objectives, strategies, and tasks for partner institutions and countries. Scheduled to occur towards the project’s conclusion in 2023, the campaign aims to enhance the dissemination efforts of CALOHEA by ensuring maximum visibility and widespread utilization of all project-related products throughout the participating Southeast Asian nations. This session allowed project members to stay updated on the latest developments and receive recommendations on the most effective approaches to promote the CALOHEA project, leveraging the collective contributions of institutions within each country.

National Meeting Timeline

The 6th CALOHEA General Meeting left its mark as a collaborative platform to drive the project forward and bring about the implementation of recognition mechanisms regionwide. Project members came from various countries and shared their dedication in amplifying the positive changes to foster a global context for students. With each milestone, the project moves closer to its vision of enhancing learning outcomes and promoting internationalization efforts throughout the region.

Relevant articles:
Philippine Higher Education Institutions Tackled Student Mobility and Internationalisation Challenges in the 5th CALOHEA National Meeting at the University of San Agustin
The CALOHEA Fifth General Meeting Premiered its First On-site Assembly in Bangkok

Opening Plenary Session
Teacher Education SAG
Medicine SAG
Civil Engineer SAG
Closing Plenary Session