The Minister of Education, Mr. Phongthep Thepkanjana, along with the Deputy Secretary General of Office of the Higher Education Commission (OHEC), Assoc. Prof. M.D. Kamchon Tatiyakawee, and Thai delegates, attended the 4th Europe and Asia Minister of Education Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, between 13 and 14 May 2013. The meeting, hosted by the Ministry of Higher Education in Malaysia, had 149 participants from 29 countries and ministers and deputy ministers from 16 countries. There were members from 16 European countries and 13 Asian countries while the meeting welcomed new members from Bangladesh, Norway and Switzerland.
Aiming to be a forum that enables its participants to discuss and recommend educational policies to practice in Asia and Europe, the main topic of this year's meeting was 'Strategizing ASEM Education Collaboration' in terms of quality assessment on education and qualification certification. It also talked about the participation of industrial and business sectors in educational management, student mobility and life-long learning. The participants also agreed with new programs that will mobilize the Policy to Practice education reforms, namely the ASEM Work Placement Program, ASEM Joint Curriculum Development and ASEM Innovative Competences. Thailand volunteered to carry out the Compendium on Credits and Learning Outcomes in ASEM Countries program. The Thai Minister of Education then invited all participants to send university rectors to the 4th ASEM Rectors Conference and the 2nd Asia-Europe Student Forum hosted by Thailand in June, 2014.
The Meeting of Asia-Europe Ministers of Education consists of 49 member countries. It is organized every two years. In 2015, Latvia will host the event and in 2017, South Korea will organize it. Indonesia volunteered to establish the ASEM Education Secretariat between 2013 and 2017 after Germany.
On this occasion, the Thai delegates met with Japanese, Hungarian and Belgian representatives and discussed educational cooperation with them, as well as taking a field trip to the University of Malaya. They also visited the Thai embassy in Kuala Lumpur to meet its staff and Thai students who are studying there.