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UNESCO-KEDI Annual Regional Policy Seminars

Background to the seminars

Since 1997, UNESCO‚Äôs Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in co-operation with the Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI), have hosted annual policy seminars to discuss key issues affecting educational development in the region. Topics of the seminars have ranged from aid effectiveness in education to assessments to decentralisation. Click here or the links on the right-hand panel of this page for more information on past seminars. 

2012 Seminar

'Education Policy-Making in the Age of Migration in Asia and the Pacific'

The 2012 seminar will look at the implications for education policy-making of the rise of migration and mobility in the Asia-Pacific region.  

Seminar details

Title "Education policy-making in the age of migration in Asia and the Pacific"

Dates - 10-12 July 2012

Location - The Davis Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Participants - Government officials, policy analysts, researchers and experts from 14 countries/jurisdictions in the region including Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong (China), India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Uzbekistan.

Background to the theme of the seminar

As of 2010, the United Nations Population Division (UNPD) estimated that there are 61.3 million international migrants living in Asia and 6 million in the Pacific.

Two countries in the region (Singapore and New Zealand) are among the top 10 countries worldwide in terms of the highest share of international migrants in their total populations (40.7% in the case of Singapore and 22.4% in the case of New Zealand). International migrants in the region are also increasingly moving to new destination countries, including Brunei Darussalam, Japan, Malaysia and Republic of Korea. 

Simultaneously, together with the rest of the world, the region has also experienced increasing internal migration: with an estimated five-fold increase in the number of people living in urban areas between 1950 and 2000.

The phenomenon of migration within the region is not expected to stop anytime soon but rather to accelerate.  Moreover, the ASEAN sub-region, for example, expects to come together as an economic community by 2015, implying the free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour and freer flow of capital. 

The increasing migration has implications for all facets of society in both the countries/jurisdictions of origin as well as countries/jurisdictions of destination of these migrants. The implications for education are complex. 

Schools and institutions may need to adjust management, curricula and pedagogy to reflect classrooms which are increasingly multicultural and socio-economically diverse. Learners must be prepared for work and life not only in their own locations but also beyond, implying a new international character for education and the need to respond to an increasingly mobile workforce. 

Migration presents opportunities for countries in the region striving to improve economic development through increased skilled labour force and improved productivity. Education system performance and skills development move to the heart of economic policy-making. 

Furthermore, education in the age of migration has critical implications for the global debate around issues of quality, equity and inclusiveness to address learning needs of students from various socio-cultural backgrounds. 

It touches on the questions of what should be learnt and how and for what purposes. In an age of rapid globalization and mobility, the challenges and opportunities posed by migration will increasingly be those which underlie all education systems, both in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. Yet the diversity in circumstances across the region imply that these impacts will affect countries in complex and varied ways, placing unique pressures on national policy making.

In addition, international student mobility has dramatically increased alongside technological advancement, rapid globalization and the integration of the global education market. 

Against the backdrop of increasing migration and student mobility, this regional policy seminar will focus on how the education sector can respond to these phenomena in order to ensure quality education for all. 

Key documents


List of participants

Background note for the seminar

Discussion paper - Migration (prepared by UNESCO Bangkok)

Discussion paper - Student mobility (revised) (prepared by KEDI)


Seminar presentations



Ms Hyun-Sook Yu
Director-General, KEDI

Opening remarks

Mr Gwang-Jo Kim 
Director, UNESCO Bangkok

Education for a more mobile world: Facing the challenges and harnessing the benefits

Keynote session - Education policy-making in the age of migration in Asia and the Pacific

Ms Christine Inglis
Professor and Director, Multicultural and Migration Research Centre, University of Sydney

The world/APR is on the move - but in many different ways

Mr Gwang-Chol Chang
Chief, Education Policy and Reform Unit, UNESCO Bangkok

Student mobility in the Asia-Pacific region: Rapid change, shifting dynamics and diverse policy responses

Session One - Internal and external migration in the Asia-Pacific region

Topic I - Trends, labour market linkages and implications for education policy

Supang Chantavanich and Premjai Vangsiriphisa

Director and Senior Researcher, Asian Research Centre for Migration, Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Education for children in difficult situations: Migrant and refugee children in Thailand

Mr Bal Kumar KC
Founder Chairman and Executive Director, Institute of Population and Development, Nepal

Migration and child labour in Nepal

Ms Maruja M. B. Asis
Director of Research and Publications, Scalabrini Migration Center, the Philippines

Migration, labor market and education linkages: An overview of the Philippine context

Ms Wang Rui
Deputy Director-General, National Center for Education Development Research, China

Academic performance and psychological development of migrant students in China

Topic II - Designing and delivering education in diverse settings

Mr Bekhzod Ochilov 
Senior Lecturer, Department of International Relations, Politology and Law, Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies, Uzbekistan

Presentation (available on request)

Mr Kerry Kennedy
Associate Vice-President (Academic) and Dean, Faculty of Professional and Early Childhood Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong

Curriculum and citizenship in a multicultural/transnational world

Mr Sang Hwan Seong
Director and Professor, Center for Multi-Cultural 

Multicultural education and teaching migrant students in the Republic of Korea


Session Two: Student mobility in the Asia-Pacific region 

Topic I - Trends, factors and effects of student mobility, and implications for education

Sauwakon Ratanawijitrasin

Associate Professor and Director, SEAMEO Regional Centre for Higher Education and Development

ASEAN regional experience in student mobility and integration initiatives

Mr Scott Evans
Counsellor (Education), Australian Education International, Australian Embassy Bangkok

International student mobility: an Australian perspective

Mr Ho Kong Chong
Associate Professor, Director of Sociology, National University of Singapore

Presentation forthcoming

Topic II - Case studies from the Asia-Pacific region

Mr Binod Khadria
Professor, Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies, School of Social Studies, Jawaharlal National University

Student mobility in the Asia-Pacific region: case study - India

Mr Nith Bunlay
Deputy Director-General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Cambodia

Student mobility: the case of Cambodia

Ms Sumantana Chantaroagwang
Head of International Resources Mobilization and Uitlization, Group Office of the Higher Education Commission, Ministry of Education, Thailand

Student mobility: case studies from Thailand

Ms Hyeseung Maria Chang
Research Fellow, KEDI, Republic of Korea

Student mobility in the Republic of Korea



Wrap-up session and discussion

Mr Ju Hur
Research Fellow, KEDI

Ms Ramya Vivekanandan Rodrigues
Programme Specialist, Education Policy and Reform Unit, UNESCO Bangkok

Seminar wrap up

Conclusion and closing

Mr Gwang-Jo Kim

Director, UNESCO Bangkok

Closing remarks