ASEM Education HUB for Environmental Studies
11-13 May 2004
The University of Leiden
Organized by The Institute of Environmental Sciences of Leiden University (CML) and the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS)
Participants: 15 participants from 11 ASEM member states
The ASEM Education Hub is a platform created by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in order to achieve greater academic exchange and co-operation activities (including student and staff exchanges, joint research, joint curriculum development, etc) among universities in ASEM countries. The 2-day conference meeting in Leiden on May 12 and 13, 2005, provided a forum for informal discussion among representatives of 12 well-established universities within Asia and Europe to establish an ASEM Education Hub for Environmental studies. The theme ‘East-West linkages: current trends in environmental studies in Asia and Europe' therefore covered the full scope of developments in environmental studies.
Participants were invited from universities in Japan, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, and Thailand for Asia and, for Europe, in the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands. Some of the invited European partners who could not make it to Leiden at the very last moment indicated their willingness to continue to participate in future activities of the network.
Prior to the conference, an informal diner was organized on the evening of May 11, 2005, during which all participants could get to know each other. The first conference day started with opening statements by the IIAS Director, Prof. W. Stokhof, the CML Director, Prof. H. Udo de Haes and the ASEF Director of the People-to-People Exchange Program, Mr. Ramon Molina. After the opening, the background, the aims and mechanisms of the conference were explained by the conference conveners. During the rest of the day, all participants gave presentations on the status of environmental science in their home country and focused in particular on their own institute or university. Special attention was paid to the relatively weak and strong aspects of their institutes in order to identify potential areas of cooperation. Each presentation was followed by a discussion on various aspects of the research and educational programmes of the institute.
The second conference day started with an overview on the nature of environmental science in the various ASEM member states represented in the meeting, their disciplinary focus, and the status of the educational programmes. A number of topics were suggested for further discussion later on the day. In view of the possible submission of a project proposal towards the European Commission, an official from Brussels, Dr Adrian Veale, was invited to gave an overview of the relevant programmes, their background and requirements, to which environmental research and education project proposals could be submitted. Dr. Veale also explained the formal evaluation procedures and gave practical suggestions to keep in mind while writing these proposals.
During the rest of the day, the group was split into two smaller working groups each of which discussed a particular set of topics. At the end of the day the outcomes of these discussions were presented in a plenary session.
Major agreed Outcomes and Follow-up
- a network will be established among the environmental science institutes that participated in this workshop or that have expressed their interest in doing so
- efforts will be undertaken to organize a follow-up conference meeting in Asia to further discuss future activities of the network including the design of a Master's programme about environmental management
- this meeting will be organized back-to-back to a workshop on environmental management with case studies as well as presentations on theoretical themes.
- for the time being, the Institute of Environmental Sciences of Leiden University will take steps to organize this meeting hopefully in combination with the ASEM secretariat and the International Institute of Asian Studies.
As with its other activities, ASEF shall integrate the participants into its network of alumni, and keep them informed of present and future activities, particularly in the field of education and the Asia-Europe Workshop Series.
Bastiaan van de Loo
16 May 2005