Generally, EDNET members gather twice every year alongside APEC Senior Officials Meetings. Representatives from APEC member economies, including both education officials and academics, will convene to summarize and evaluate their work related to joint educational projects, initiatives and activities in the past year, coordinating further actions as well as formulate future work plans.
The Annual ENDET Meetings aim at sharing information and best practices among APEC member economies to review the current status of education in the region and to provide a useful reference for its policy-makers.
The latest annual meeting took place in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on 28 February–1 March 2018. The meeting’s theme—education cooperation in the digital economy—resonates with the theme of APEC 2018
Many key issues were discussed, such as education innovation in the digital age. The information and results of relevant projects were shared, including the following:
- Quality Assurance of Online Learning Toolkit led by Australia
- APEC e-Learning Training (AeLT) Program led by Korea
- Digital Workforce Development led by the United States
Two new projects focusing on the fields of online education and innovative curriculums in the digital age were proposed by Australia and Thailand, respectively.
Developing the APEC Education Strategy and its Action Plan
The APEC Education Strategy is the forum’s first education blueprint. The strategy reflects not only the importance given to education development and education cooperation by APEC member economies, but also the increasingly important role of education in economic growth and integration across the region. The blueprint was endorsed by the 6th APEC Education Ministerial Meeting in 2016 and sets the framework for guiding future projects and collaborative initiatives for the benefit of the region, based on the following three pillars:
- Enhancing and aligning competencies to the needs of individuals, societies and economies
- Accelerating innovation
- Increasing employability
The action plan is a follow-up to the APEC Education Strategy. It details a new collaborative and strategic approach to the development and implementation of education projects and initiatives based on the three pillars. Nine targets and 30 indicators were elaborated in the action plan and the sharing of information based on these targets and indicators would serve as useful reference for future education collaboration and policy development. The action plan also suggests tools and instruments that can be used for the planning and implementation of education-related APEC projects as well as economy-level projects and initiatives.
Furthermore, the Action Plan includes a reporting mechanism to monitor the progress of education reform in the APEC region.
Developing the APEC Report on Education and Economic Development
The APEC Report on Education and Economic Development aims to create a synergy of education-related collaborative projects and initiatives among APEC member economies through integrating the deliverables laid out during the 6th APEC Education Ministerial Meeting, including the APEC Education Strategy, the updated “Baseline Report on Current Education Status in Asia Pacific Region” and outcomes of APEC-badged projects and initiatives, to guide the implementation of the Action Plan of APEC Education Strategy, to share best practices on competencies, innovation and employability, to analyze the relationship between education and economic development in the region, and to generate policy recommendation on education and economic development.
The report consists of the following parts:
- Policy Context
- Education and Economic Development
- Three or Four Chapters on Education Development in Asia Pacific aligned with priority actions of the APEC Education Strategy
- Lessons Learned
- Policy Recommendations
A workshop was hosted by Thailand on 21-22 May 2018, involving representatives from government, academia and industry to draft the report.