Viktor Sumsky, MGIMO ASEAN Centre Director, on ASEAN—Russia Forum on Education

Viktor Sumsky, MGIMO ASEAN Centre Director, on ASEAN—Russia Forum on Education

25 September 2019

In October MGIMO will host the ASEAN—Russia Forum on Education on the sidelines of the 12th Russian International Studies Association (RASI) Convention. Representatives of the relevant ministries from all ten ASEAN member-states are to participate in the event. Viktor Sumsky, MGIMO ASEAN Centre Director, told us about the aims of the Forum.

— Viktor, tell us more about the Forum.

The ASEAN Centre has some experience in organising similar events, among which are the University Forum Russia—ASEAN in 2016 and 2017 held on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Now, we have chosen a different format: the Forum will be devoted to cooperation in education and entitled ASEAN—Russian Forum on Education. It will be held on the sidelines of the 12th RASI Convention on October 21st-22d.

— What does the Forum’s programme include?

We want to focus on questions related to cooperation in education which ASEAN usually poses to all its dialogue partners as well as issues that coincide with our priorities.

There will be four sessions at the Forum: Best Practices in Primary Education, Cooperation in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Cooperation in Teaching STEM Disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), and Best Practices in Students’ Mobility.

As for the ASEAN students exchange programmes, we would like to discuss in more detail the cultural support for students as it is very important for their adaption to new socio-cultural environment. Moreover, the ASEAN Centre pays special attention to analytics related to the information about South-East Asia in our country.

Apart from the above-mentioned four sessions the Forum will also be a platform for another event — the Thailand—Russia roundtable on peculiarities of gifted children upbringing. This meeting was initiated and supported by the Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. In this area Russia has some experience that can be shared with our colleagues from ASEAN. For example, the experience of Sirius educational centre is quite remarkable. Our best summer camps for children such as «Artek» and «Okean», where we invited children from three ASEAN countries (Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) this year, can be considered as the centres combining leisure activities with education.

— Who is going to participate in the Forum?

There is a need to clarify that apart from MGIMO co-organisers of the Forum are the Russian Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. It’s pretty natural that the heads of these ministries as well as their counterparts from ASEAN and the Secretariate of the Association were invited to participate. We also expect rectors of major universities of South-East Asia and Russia, prominent figures in higher education, representatives of vocational and primary institutions from both sides, with total number of guests being more than 100. Among the high-ranking officials from ASEAN who have already confirmed their participation is Hang Chuon Naron, MGIMO graduate and our good friend, who has been for several years the head of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Russia focuses on the participation of the universities from the Russian Association of Leading Universities (ALU) which are located in Moscow and other regions.

The participants of the ASEAN—Russia Forum on Education are invited to the first plenary session of the 12th RASI Convention, which Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will address.

— See the MGIMO web-site for russian version