EUROPEAN UNION AND ASEAN AWARD 134 SCHOLARSHIPS TO ASEAN UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

SHAREJakarta, 1 February 2017 – Furthering its commitments towards strengthening regional cooperation, enhancing the quality, regional competitiveness and internationalisation of ASEAN higher education institutions, ASEAN and the European Union (EU) are pleased to announce the awardees of the second batch of the “EU Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN Region” (SHARE) scholarships. A total of 134 ASEAN undergraduate students from 29 ASEAN Universities in 8 ASEAN Member States, will receive a fully funded scholarship to spend one semester of study abroad in another ASEAN country.

“ASEAN Community is all about the future of young generation of ASEAN who will soon become the leaders and the workforce of this region. As such, we continuously work towards giving them opportunity to develop themselves, discover new knowledge, meet new friends and appreciate better their region. The SHARE scholarship is an excellent scheme that allows them to do just that. Student mobility within ASEAN forms the very foundation that allows our students to define their identity and appreciate their community”, said Mr. Vongthep Arthakaivalvatee, Deputy Secretary-General for the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.

Inspired by the European Bologna Process and Erasmus Scholarship, SHARE has established a scholarship scheme to support the region’s graduates and regional leaders of tomorrow. On behalf of ASEAN, 500 scholarships are made available to be distributed in four batches, with 400 allocated for inner-ASEAN mobility and another 100 for ASEAN students to study in the EU. As well as assisting with mobility, the scholarship is designed to test the application of an ASEAN-wide credit transfer systems (ACTS) and an ASEAN-European credit transfer system (AECTS), where students will receive transferable credits from the overseas courses which will count towards their studies back home.

16 students from 8 ASEAN universities pioneered the SHARE Scholarship in 2016. Following the success of this pilot batch, SHARE launched a second call and received more than 300 applications from ASEAN students, of which more than 50% came from CLMV Countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam), and a majority were female applicants. After the pilot batch and the second batch of scholarships have been awarded, SHARE will be calling for applications from undergraduate students in ASEAN for two more batches in 2017-18.

This year, Diponegoro University also participated in this program. Diponegoro University will be sending 25 students to Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Philippines. And five students from University of Mandalay (Myanmar) will come to Diponegoro University as exchange students.

“In Europe, 3 million students have received Erasmus scholarships to study in other European Union countries during the past 30 years. The Erasmus programme has greatly contributed to the harmonisation of higher education in Europe. Similarly in ASEAN, following the first batch of 16 SHARE Scholarship Awardees, 134 Awardees have been selected for the second batch, aiming to put to the test an ASEAN-wide scholarships scheme and credit recognition system among ASEAN higher education institutions. For the Awardees, I hope that a semester abroad will enrich their academic experience and allow them to feel the hospitality, culture and diversity of ASEAN. Beyond their personal experience, I also hope that SHARE scholarships will contribute to the ASEAN Connectivity through creating people-to-people linkages”, said EU Ambassador to ASEAN, Mr. Francisco Fontan.

Officially launched in May 2015, SHARE is a €10 million EU grant funded programme with the principal objective of strengthening regional cooperation, enhancing the quality, competitiveness and internationalisation of ASEAN higher education institutions and students, and contributing to an ASEAN Community. From 2016 onwards, SHARE is providing some 500 scholarships for ASEAN university students to put the improved systems to the test, mainly by supporting student exchange and credit recognition within the ASEAN region. ASEAN is working with an EU consortium of institutions led by British Council and comprising the DAAD, EP-Nuffic, Campus France, ENQA and EUA between 2015 and 2018 to implement SHARE. EP-Nuffic is in charge of managing the SHARE scholarship programme.