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On October 26, 2020, the IX APEC Conference on Cooperation in Higher Education: "New Era of Digital Education: Multilateral Approach and Challenges for APEC" was held at Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU). The event is an official initiative of the Russian Federation, implemented within the framework of the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group. The conference is held annually at Far Eastern Federal University campus on Russky Island. This year, the conference was held online and consisted of two parts: the plenary session “Joint Solutions for Global Education and Sustainable Development” and the session “Digital Solutions for the Future Labor Market”.
The Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Valery Falkov and Minister of Education of the Republic of Peru Martin Benavides Abanto addressed the participants. Keynote speeches at the plenary session were made by Lionor Briones, Minister of Education of the Republic of the Philippines, and Nikita Anisimov. The conference was attended by representatives of education ministries from eight APEC economies (Russia, Peru, Malaysia, China, the Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Mexico, and Indonesia), as well as presidents of leading universities in the Asia-Pacific region, heads of research organizations and the expert community. In general, 15 APEC member economies were represented at the event.
The participants discussed sustainable training systems in regional educational networks, the development of cooperation strategies in the field of education, innovation and adaptability of labor markets, and exchanged experiences in realizing the potential of digitalization of all business processes of their organizations.
“FEFU advocates increasing the role of universities in solving global problems, as well as strengthening cooperation in the field of education and human capital development. Building ties between talented youth, researchers, business and public sectors of our countries enhances the role of universities in regional socio-economic development and promotes multilateral dialogue in the Asia-Pacific region”, said FEFU President Nikita Anisimov.
According to the FEFU President, the task of education is to provide people with competitive skills and competencies, which should be developed taking into account the current trends of modern society. Nikita Anisimov also stressed that FEFU is one of the backbone elements of Russia's educational activities in APEC, acting as an expert center for the development of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the APR countries in the field of education. The university has conducted a number of studies analyzing key initiatives in the field of human capital development, as well as social and humanitarian cooperation between the Russian Federation and the APEC economies. In addition, the participation of FEFU experts in working group meetings and related initiatives has proven to be effective and highly appreciated by APEC partners.
The online discussions resulted in 27 recommendations on the prospects for multilateral cooperation in the field of education, among which the highest priorities: identification of key directions for the development of high-quality and sustainable education systems in the Asia-Pacific region, with a particular focus on the development of joint educational plans and the consolidation of cooperation strategies in the field education, development of capacity and experience for acquiring knowledge in order to solve global problems and identify ways to meet the challenges of rapid change through training and networking to promote more accessible and qualified education, revising vocational training methods and integrating digitalization into the education system of the Asia-Pacific region, increasing academic and professional participation of students and professors in the exchange of experience through the use of open digital platforms, the development of a comprehensive system of verification of diplomas for an effective integration and exchange of human capital in the region, the processes of exchanging data on student employment through online platforms and various networking systems, the creation of effective digital university management models and the inclusion of online tools for administration in order to quickly respond to emerging problems and create sustainable autonomous educational systems.
Conferences on cooperation in the field of higher education in APEC have been held annually at FEFU since 2012. The delegates discuss and resolve issues in the field of education, science, and human capital development in the economies of the participants and the integration of the educational systems of the member states. The conference is traditionally organized by Far Eastern Federal University with the support of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group, and the APEC Education Network (EDNET).