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ERI-Net researchers discuss pressing topics in education

30.01.2013

Established by UNESCO Bangkok, the Education Research Institutes Network (ERI-Net) is a regional grouping of leading researchers who work to address important education policy issues in the Asia-Pacific.

The network aims to enhance exchange of knowledge in education policy research and contribute to policy making in education development and innovation in the region.

From 7-8 March 2013, a group of prominent ERI-Net researchers will gather to discuss two key areas of research identified for 2013:

  1. The transition from secondary to higher education
  2. A policy study on integration of non-cognitive skills in education

For ERI-Net Coordinator Satoko Yano, the Network provides an important platform for discussion around issues of great importance for all countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

As one example, transition from secondary to higher education is a critical issue as many countries in this region have experienced dramatic higher education expansion in recent years. There is a need for governments to review and rethink the ways in which students are prepared and selected to pursue higher education, in view of the diversification of higher education programmes and serious competition for entry into prestigious institutions.

“This year, we have also chosen to broaden the focus of ERI-Net. While traditionally, the network has addressed issues relevant only to higher education, in 2013 we are investigating an issue of increasing concern to educators all over the world,” added Ms. Yano.

“So-called “non-cognitive” skills are arguably often neglected in education systems. While there is still debate around the correct terminology to be used and how broadly “non-cognitive” skills stretch, it is increasingly recognised that learning outcomes must add up to more than the sum of one’s test scores.”

This meeting will therefore provide a platform for the researchers to discuss how students transit from one level of education to another, and at the same time explore the skills they require to survive and succeed in the 21st century, and how these skills should be defined and measured.

UNESCO Bangkok, which houses the ERI-Net Secretariat, will host the two-day consultative meeting to develop the research frameworks for these two studies and discuss the next steps for the broader ERI-Net community of researchers.

For more information about ERI-Net or this event, please contact Satoko Yano (s.yano[at]unesco.org) or Rachel McCarthy (r.mccarthy[at]unesco.org).