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Riga hosts meeting of Asian, European education ministers

Updated: 2015-04-28
By Huan Cao (chinadaily.com.cn)
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Education and senior officials from more than 50 Asian and European countries gathered in Riga, capital city of Latvia on Monday for the 5th ASEM Education Ministers' Meeting (ASEMME5).

Focusing on the meeting's overreaching theme "ASEM Education Collaboration for Results", the ministers from both regions explored ways how to employ education for better skills and jobs, as well as how to use the full potential of new learning technologies.

Latvian President Andris Berzins opened the forum by stressing that youth unemployment, which currently is a growing problem in many countries, is caused by misguided education and social policies.

Latvian Education and Science Minister Marite Seile said that education promotes understanding and tolerance among people with different worldviews.

Direct and firsthand cooperation between Asian and European countries enriches experience, increases skills, opens up opportunities and facilitates productive contacts, the Latvian education and science minister said.

"This cooperation helps promote tolerance in society, better understanding of one another and experience-based confidence. I believe that this is one of the most important processes for successful coexistence in our global world," Seile said.

China's Vice Minister of Education, Li Weihong, who was also attending the meeting, said in her speech that the meeting of ministers of education was one of the most important mechanisms of cooperation in the framework of the Asia-Europe meeting.

It is an important platform for Asia-Europe cooperation on education. The Chinese Ministry of Education has always attached great importance to the ASEM platform and China's engagement in pragmatic cooperation on both multilateral and bilateral level, she said.

The 5th ASEM ministerial meeting will focus on higher education quality and recognition, industry involvement in education, balanced mobility and lifelong training.

The Asia - Europe meeting (ASEM) was formed in 1996 with an aim to strengthen cooperation between the two regions.

The ASEM Education process is mainly based on the cooperation and partnership between Asia and Europe in the field of higher education and lifelong learning. At the ASEM ME3 in Copenhagen in 2011, the Ministers for Education identified four priority areas which since then have continued as the main areas for cooperation:

1. quality assurance and recognition;

2. engaging business and industry in education;

3. balanced mobility;

4. lifelong learning including technical and vocational education and training.

The main aim of ASEMME5 is to maintain the informal nature of the process by strengthening the cooperation and networking in common interest areas.

ASEMME5 is organized by the Latvian Ministry of Education and Science in cooperation with the ASEM Education Secretariat, the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Secretariat of the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

More information of Latvia

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