Project Presentation

The Central Asia Education Platform (CAEP)

Background

The Central Asia Education Platform (CAEP) has been a key pillar of the European Education Initiative (EEI) for Central Asia which is to “contribute to the adaptation of education systems of Central Asian States to the needs of the globalised world” as well as the necessities of the region and the societies in each particular country.

Objective

The CAEP was established to support policy dialogue between the EU and the CA countries and within the CA region in order to reinforce education sector reforms in Central Asia. It also aimed at better coordination of donors’ activities in the education sector in the region.

Focus of the CAEP

The CAEP focused on Vocational Education and Training (VET) and on Higher Education (HE). On the basis of a needs assessment and stakeholder consultations, the priority areas for policy dialogue were:

  • Development of Qualification Frameworks and Standards
  • Quality Assurance and Accreditation
  • Employment and Labour Market Needs
  • Innovative teaching methods
  • Contribution of education to prevent violent radicalisation of youth and strengthen social inclusion
  • Contribution of education in addressing gender inequalities
  • Effective financing of education system and institutions
Project Tasks
Component 1: Dialogue Forums

Under this component, the project provided technical and logistical support to the organisation of national and regional dialogue forums (conferences, meetings, workshops). The Central Asian partners were invited to propose issues/topics that would be suitable for discussion as part of the platform.

Four stages of dialogue forums were foreseen:

  1. National meetings in each Central Asian country with representatives of ministers, experts and practitioners;
  2. Thematic technical meetings at regional level amongst representatives of Central Asian line ministries, public authorities, education practitioners, representatives of EU and EU Member States and international donors, including so-called Peer Learning Meetings to address issues such as NQF and Quality Assurance with “specialists’ peer groups” from all CA countries and EU Member States;
  3. Policy-focused regional forums at ministerial level (“Ministerial Meetings”) with representatives of Central Asian countries, the EU (notably the European Commission) and involved EU Member States;
  4. Follow-up national meetings to examine the results and recommendations of the regional and ministerial forums. In planning and organising these forums, the project took into account past and on-going similar initiatives in the sector to build on their results maximise synergies and avoid duplication of identical activities.
Component 2: Marketing and communication

For this component, a state-of-play on the education sector of each country was completed (including a needs assessment and a stakeholder analysis), and mapping done on the activities in the area of education carried out in Central Asia by the project countries, the EU, EU Member States and other international donors.

An inventory of existing studies on the education sector of the Central Asian countries was made during the inception phase to avoid duplication of efforts.

Under this component, a CAEP website was set up. Communication tools such as an e-newsletter were used for promotion and sharing the results of dialogue forums and EU-Central Asia education cooperation and programmes.

Component 3: Studies

Under this component, studies and review reports were carried out to complement the dialogue for additional studies, briefings, and policy advice.

 Planned Project Results
  1. Europe-Central Asia education sector dialogue improved
  2. Quality of mutual multi-country learning improved
  3. Experience, lessons learned, best/good practices shared
  4. Evidence-based policy approach initiated
  5. People-to-people exchange and mutual understanding enhanced
  6. Support to sector approaches enhanced
  7. Support to local stakeholders to better implement reform programmes at all institutional levels improved
  8. Capacity of policy makers through policy analysis and learning enhanced.
Project Timeframe:

February 2012 – February 2015 (Phase I), March 2015 – March 2019 (Phase II)

At the closing Regional Conference on 13 February 2019, “Strengthening education reforms and employability in Central Asia and the EU – The European Education Initiative (EEI) and the Central Asia Education Platform (CAEP)”, the Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) announced that a continuation of CAEP is anticipated for mid-2020, following a review of stakeholder needs and to be based on the revised EU-Central Asia strategy to be adopted in 2019.

An overview of the outcomes and achievements of CAEP Phase II can be found in a report from the regional conference here.