The Second Meeting of the European Union and Central Asia Ministers for Education was held on 23 June in Astana, Kazakhstan. The event was a great success and concluded with the Ministers and delegates agreeing on the Astana Declaration as a basis for future mutual co-operation in the fields of Higher Education (HE) and Vocational Education and Training (VET).
The Ministerial Meeting was officially opened by Mr Erlan Sagadiyev, Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan; Mr Roman Vasilenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan; H.E. Mr. Peter Burian, Ambassador, EU Special Representative for Central Asia; and Ms Marjeta Jager, Deputy Director-General, DG International Cooperation and Development from the European Commission.
Joining the Ministers for Education were representatives from Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Ministries of Labour and other delegates from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Attending from the EU were representatives of European Union Delegations and Embassies in Central Asia, Ministers, state secretaries and other delegates from Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Spain and Slovakia and senior experts and specialists in the fields of HE and VET.
Ministers and high level representatives from the Central Asia countries presented reviews of the progress being made in their countries in the fields of HE and VET and discussed how to strengthen further cooperation between the EU and Central Asia as well as between the countries themselves.
The meeting concluded with the agreement of the Astana Declaration, which highlights as priorities cooperation and dialogue in the areas of Qualification Frameworks (NQF), Quality Assurance and Accreditation (QAA), employment and labour market needs, innovative teaching methods, financing of education systems, prevention of violent radicalisation through education, and gender equality.
The event was organised by the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) jointly with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan and supported by the EU-funded project “Central Asia Education Platform” (CAEP).
The Astana Declaration, along with the presentations from the meeting, can be downloaded here: http://events.caep-project.org/astana2017/materials/