Achievements and outcomes of CAEP project reviewed at closing conference

March 15,2019 |Category : Latest News

The final CAEP Regional Conference entitled “Strengthening education reforms and employability in Central Asia and the EU – The European Education Initiative (EEI) and the Central Asia Education Platform (CAEP)” took place in Brussels last month.

The purpose of the final Regional Conference was to review the outcomes of CAEP II to date and discuss future perspectives for cooperation in Higher Education (HE) and Vocational Education & Training (VET) between the European Union, Member States and Central Asian countries.  Attending the event were representatives from the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO), the European External Action Service (EEAS), the CAEP Team, project partners Erasmus+ and the European Training Foundation (ETF), and delegates from the five Central Asian Ministries of Education and the EU Member States Latvia and Romania.

At the conference, Mr. Christian Wagner, CAEP Team Leader, presented an overview of the outcomes of the CAEP project from 2012-2019. An important part of EU support to education in the region, along with Erasmus+ and CAREN, the project has changed considerably since its inception in 2012, with a more visible approach achieved through the strengthened commitment of the Central Asia countries and more active member state involvement.

The achievements of CAEP II (2015-2019) can be divided into three areas:

Improved Policy Dialogue
Two Ministerial Meetings (Riga 2015 and Astana 2017) resulted in a Joint Communique and Roadmap of activities and subsequently the Astana Declaration. Dialogue fora and meetings have promoted regular exchange on the modernisation of education systems in Central Asia and facilitated regional cooperation. Cooperation has also been established with other donors such as the World Bank and UNESCO.

Sector modernisation
CAEP activities in conjunction with other EU programmes, such as Erasmus+ and ETF, have contributed to:

  • The launch of a joint cross sub-sector discussion of VET and HE on an integrative qualification system
  • Raising awareness on policy learning and development in the area of evidence based policy making
  • Identifying potential for bilateral cooperation between EU member state and CA as well as among CA countries
  • Promoting the benefits of Bologna principles and the learning outcomes approach when establishing National Qualification Frameworks (NQF)
  • Recommendations for strengthening quality assurance and accreditation (QAA)
  • The active involvement of the business community
  • New and strengthened contacts between EU and CA institutions.

Improved knowledge and mutual understanding
The active involvement of lead EU Member States Poland and Latvia has seen experience and best practice shared, both at policy and institutional level. The use of peer learning methodology and working groups has favoured people-to-people exchange and enhanced mutual understanding in the modernisation process in the education sectors of both the EU and Central Asia.

Including the one year extension from 2018-2019, CAEP II has implemented the following activities to address challenges in both HE and VET:

  • 9 National Meetings
  • 7 Regional Meetings
  • 5 Peer Learning Meetings
  • 5 Working Group Meetings
  • 7 Webinars
  • 5 Senior Officials’ Meetings (SOM)
  • 2 Ministerial Meetings (MIN)

A total of 8 background and review reports have been produced by CAEP experts on topics such as National Qualification Frameworks, Capacity Building and Mobility programmes, Social Inclusion and Gender Equality and the Financing of Education Systems.

Finally, in terms of communication and mapping, a database has been produced with a total of 185 donor projects in the region, a bilingual website has been updated with news and details of events, and 15 editions of the CAEP newsletter have been produced.

The external evaluation team found clear evidence that CAEP II has contributed to national education reform, and the improvement of international and regional cooperation. An important factor has been the demand driven nature of CAEP; the team and participants established stakeholder needs and these have been reflected in the flexible and evolving format. Success factors highlighted were the sustained commitment and contribution of Central Asian and European stakeholders, synergies with ETF, DG EAC and EACEA, and the performance of the CAEP Team.

In our latest newsletter you can find a full report on the event, including Central Asia delegates sharing recent developments in education reform in their countries, a review of the use of peer learning and evidence based policy making in CAEP events, and an outlook on the foreseen continuation of the project.

You can also find the agenda, downloadable presentations and a photo gallery from the conference on the events page.