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Gyeongju, Korea, 21 - 23 May 2012
2012 5th APEC Education Ministerial Meeting
Joint Statement - Envisioning Together for the Future and Hope

Introduction

 

1. We, the Education Ministers and senior officials of Australia; Brunei Darussalam; Canada; Chile; People's Republic of China; Hong Kong, China; Indonesia; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malaysia; Mexico; New Zealand; Papua New Guinea; Peru; the Philippines; the Russian Federation; Singapore; Chinese Taipei; Thailand; the United States; and Viet Nam convened for the 5th Ministerial Meeting in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea on May 21-23, 2012, under the Chairmanship of Ju-Ho Lee, Minister of Education, Science and Technology of the Republic of Korea.

 

2. We met under the theme of 5th AEMM, Future Challenges and Educational Responses: Fostering Global, Innovative and Cooperative Education, which closely correlates with APEC priorities proposed by the Russian Federation in the year of 2012 as far as cooperative education is an integral part fostering regional innovative growth, promoting future skills suitable for the global society, creating innovative instructional delivery systems, and fostering more collaborative policy decisions that provide for our common fulfillment.

 

3. We acknowledge that the mission of APEC is “to support sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region,” and recognize the significance of achieving a dynamic and harmonious Asia-Pacific community by championing free and open trade and investment and promoting regional economic integration, and the importance of providing all students with a quality education enabling them to engage in the globalized economy. With increasing flow of investment, skilled labor, knowledge, and skills among economies, education is critical in facilitating regional economic integration and enhancing prosperity among the APEC member economies.

 

4. We further recognize that the changing nature of work requires workers to have higher levels of high-quality education and the competencies demanded by the nature of work and the change in nature of education with the integration of technology and introduction of innovative teaching and learning practices. Finally, the changing nature of education drives the need for increased cooperation and collaboration among education providers, businesses, researchers, and other stakeholders, to better meet the needs of all students and learners, as well as the economy.

 

Development & Progress

 

5. We acknowledge the development and progress made by the Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) and the Education Network (EDNET) in expanding and extending the education knowledge-base for the APEC region. We recognize the importance of the work carried out by EDNET in building and sharing knowledge through the APEC Human Resource Development (HRD) Knowledge Bank Wiki and the APEC Learning Community Builders (ALCoB) networks in developing the 2008 education priority areas: mathematics and science education, career and technical education (CTE)/technical and vocational education and training (TVET), learning each other’s languages, and information and communication technology (ICT) and systemic reform.

 

6. We recognize the wealth of knowledge accumulated in the priority areas since the 4th APEC Education Ministerial Meeting (AEMM) in Peru in 2008. We reaffirm the importance of developing priority areas to guide the APEC region towards creating learning societies and achieving prosperity for all the people of the member economies. Further, strengthening the competencies and skills of the entire 21st century population with such qualities as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration, technology savvy, and foreign language is critical in this globalized world.

 

7. We acknowledge the successful Pre-ministerial meeting organized by EDNET in Moscow in February 2012, where researchers and policy-makers exchanged research findings and policy analyses that reflect our member economies’ greatest needs. We recognize the progress made by HRDWG and EDNET in promoting the role of education in social, individual, economic and sustainable development, and agree to continue to support research and policy analyses through EDNET.

 

Globalization and Education

 

8. The increased flow of human capital and information has expanded the opportunities for regional integration of the APEC member economies. We are aware that people have greater access to information and knowledge, and that they are increasingly interacting with diverse cultures. We acknowledge that education plays a key role in sustainable and inclusive growth in the APEC region. We recognize the importance of the 2012-2016 APEC priority areas of mathematics and science, language and culture, and TVET and higher education quality to equip students with the 21st century competencies they need for their full participation in the globalized and knowledge-based society.

 

9. In the current state of the globalized society, we acknowledge that increased cultural sensitivity for fostering global competencies and communication skills is essential. In addition, improved teaching and learning of mathematics and science will further develop students’ logical thinking and cognitive skills, along with promoting creativity and flexibility. These skills can be a basis for the students to acquire practical knowledge about disaster risks and related competencies and apply them to the real-world problems. We also recognize the importance of preparing a qualified workforce with 21st century skills, promoting cultural understanding, and continuing quality improvement in TVET and higher education.

 

10. The Ministers reviewed the recommendations proposed by EDNET in the priority areas of mathematics and science education, language and culture education, and TVET and higher education quality. We agree on the importance of further refinement of educational responses in the following directions:

1)      Continue to upgrade mathematics and science education capacity across the APEC member economies. Identify the best practices that ensure students are learning the foundation of mathematics and science and applying this learning to real-world issues, such as preserving the environment, reducing damage due to disasters, and achieving green and sustainable growth.

2)      Create an open environment for education collaboration in mathematics and science starting with a joint data-base of mathematical problems, assessments, and evaluation methods.

3)      Support foreign language education throughout students’ academic careers and develops a system to nurture and train highly qualified language education teachers who also reflect cultural diversity.

4)      Expand opportunities to participate in TVET programs for students, especially women and girls as well as diverse learners, and strengthen public-private partnership integrating TVET education so that the skills students acquire reflect the actual needs of the global labor market for in-demand occupations within high-growth industry sectors.

5)      Improve the quality of higher education by strengthening the teaching force, assuring quality through high quality indicators and best practices facilitating the mobility of students and education providers between and among APEC member economies.

 

Innovation in Education

 

11. We daily witness advances in technology and the consequential rapid transformation in ways information is shared. ICT is a tool for social and economic development. We acknowledge the importance of enhancing ICT use in education for innovative and inclusive growth in the APEC region, but recognize that an ICT infrastructure and development divide still exists across the APEC member economies. We also recognize that there is a need to improve teachers’ capability to use ICT effectively so that they can help students acquire the 21st century competencies, and that considerable attention needs to be paid to teacher preparation and training.

 

12. We recognize the importance of teachers, and teacher quality as the most important factor determining students’ success. Developing students with 21st century competencies requires fundamental and innovative changes in instruction and hence teacher preparation and development. We acknowledge that supporting teachers at every stage from recruitment to induction to career development is critical in establishing APEC’s education capacity to provide workers that are among the most productive in the world.

 

13. In review of the recommendations proposed by EDNET in the priority areas of ICT in education and teacher quality, the Ministers direct EDNET to focus on the following educational responses:

1)      Share experiences of ICT use in education, including development and implementation of national-level Master Plans for ICT utilization in education and the creation of open education resources (OERs), such as those found on the APEC HRD Wiki. Also, encourage the sharing of information about the development of ICT use in education among the member economies.

2)      Strengthen teacher practices in ICT-utilized instruction that provides the most benefits for students’ learning in the mathematics, science, language, culture, and TVET subject areas.

3)      Increase the number of teachers’ participation from the member economies in APEC eLearning courses.

4)      Share promising practices on strengthening the teacher development pipeline, from pre-service to in-service stages of a career on issues such as recruitment, preparation, career paths, induction, incentives, assessment, and quality standards.

 

Educational Cooperation for the Future

 

14. We recognize the importance of the APEC Leaders’ Growth Strategy for prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and emphasize that education plays a key role as one crucial vehicle for implementing and realizing it. In the context of globalization, the Ministers agree that educational cooperation is an essential driving force for sustainable, secure, inclusive, innovative, and balanced growth of the APEC region.

 

15. We recognize that educational cooperation must be enhanced among and within the member economies in overcoming our global and regional challenges such as overcoming financial and environmental crises, reducing economic and digital divides, reducing natural and man-made disaster risks, and increasing the feasibility of the recommendations made for the priority areas. The Ministers agree on the need to explore ways of expanding education cooperation among the APEC member economies.

 

16. We acknowledge that the extent to which the member economies cooperate is vital for strengthening the capacity and future viability of education efforts within the APEC region. The Ministers applaud the growth of university-sponsored projects that bring together consortia of universities such as Mathematics and Science Lesson Study led by Kheon Kaen (Thailand) and Tsukuba (Japan) universities, Foreign Language Lesson Study led by Ming Chuan University (Chinese Taipei), ALCoB co-supported by Pusan National University (Korea), teacher preparation in mathematics and science secondary education quality projects led by National Institute of Education (Singapore), Columbia University (United States), and the University of Waikato (New Zealand), and higher education quality projects led by Monash University (Australia), East China Normal University (China), the University of Hawaii (United States), and Far Eastern Federal University (Russian Federation). The Ministers agree that the direction of future educational cooperation efforts should include both information exchange and other practical forms of cooperation which aligns with the HRD-PPP (Moscow Initiative).

 

17. We recognize the need for cooperative models and best practices in order to share and learn from each other and elevate the level of educational cooperation. We agree on the need for multi-year projects in EDNET in facilitating and evaluating regional collaborative projects. Future directions for support need to include the development of strategies for collaborating among people, sharing resources, and networking institutions in all the APEC member economies. We expect this educational cooperation will produce synergies when combined with current collaborative mechanisms like the on-going, US-funded APEC Wiki knowledge creation and dissemination efforts and the Korea-sponsored ALCoB activities that already support regional cooperation. Ministers noted the work of officials in exploring a number of proposals for research, information, and knowledge sharing in the field of education services including the proposed initiative by the Russian Federation for the development of higher education cooperation. The Russian Federation informed the Ministers that they will hold a conference on this topic.

 

18. We welcome Korea’s recommendation to enhance practical and sustainable educational cooperation with the title of Education Cooperation Project (ECP), Gyeongju Initiative. Ministers appreciate Korea’s initiative on cooperation.

 

19. After consideration by EDNET, we direct the Education Cooperation Project draft an outcome report, tentatively entitled, APEC Educational Cooperation Strategies and be submitted to the 6th AEMM through EDNET by 2016. This report of APEC Educational Cooperation Strategies should include identification of possible ways for expanding educational cooperation for the future prosperity of all APEC member economies, and should consolidate all the findings of the collaborative research and the discussions in the symposiums for the years 2013 to 2016. The report should also provide directions for building a mutually beneficial system of APEC educational cooperation for the maximum benefit of all APEC economies. In addition, we direct EDNET to build an education cooperation portal page on the APEC Knowledge Bank Wiki that links to external resources and to wiki pages describing ECP related research findings, materials, and resources.

 

Conclusion

 

20. We affirm that education efforts are underway by APEC member economies with international education organizations beyond the Asia-Pacific region, such as OECD, EAS, OAS, SEAMEO, the World Bank, and UNESCO, for the strengthening of cooperative research and the sharing of best practices across the global community within APEC guidelines on managing cooperation with non-members. We request EDNET to leverage and strengthen these current relationships and build new partnerships with bilateral and multilateral organizations by promoting activities that correspond with the Ministers’ priorities as well as APEC HRDMM.

 

21. We request that EDNET, report on conclusions reached at the 5th APEC Education Ministerial Meeting at the next APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Vladivostok, Russia in September 2012, and provide the Ministers with an Annual Report of Progress towards the goals that we have established.

 

22. We would like to extend our most sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Republic of Korea, our host economy, for their excellent coordination and preparation of the meeting. We also express our thanks to the APEC Support Fund and Russia for funding the 3rd Pre-Ministerial Symposium on Education Research and Policy, and to China, Korea, Peru, Russia, and the United States, for building the research and policy base for the priority areas adopted by the Ministers. Finally, our sincere appreciation to EDNET, the HRDWG, and the APEC Secretariat for their important contributions to the success of this meeting.


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