International Bulletin - Fall 1997
Tokyo Declaration on Higher Education
Several members of PPSEAWA Japan attended the Regional Conference on Higher Education; National Strategies and Regional Cooperation for the 21st Century. This Conference was held in Tokyo 8-10 July. They report:
The Conference was opened with presentations by Frederico Mayor, Director General, UNESCO; Shomura Miura, Chairman Japanese National Commission for UNESCO; Hector Gurgulino de Souza, Rector, United Nations University and Wichit Srisa-An, President, the Association of Universities of Asia and the Pacific.
There followed the Ministers and Vice Ministers of Education Forum and a series of Roundtables on National Policies and Strategies; Institutional Management and Quality Issues; the Role of Information and Multimedia Technology and University-Industry Partnership and Internationalization of Higher Education and Regional Co-operation.
The resulting Declaration puts forth:
1. Higher Education is essential for any country to reach the necessary level of economic and social development and social mobility in order to achieve increased living standards and internal and international harmony and peace based on democracy, tolerance and mutual respect.
2. All higher education systems and institutions should give a high priority to ensuring the quality of provisions and outcomes.
3. Modern information and communication technology provides considerable promise to enhance teaching and learning in higher education by both on-campus and distance education students.
4. Regional cooperation among the countries of the region can make significant contributions in addressing major policy problems.
5. The concept of lifelong learning* is of utmost importance.
The following major points of the resultant recommendation:
1. Joint action plans must be established.
2. Governments and Parliaments must fulfill their commitments to higher education and be accountable for pledges made at regional and world conferences.
3. Each higher education institution must define its mission in harmony with overall goals of the sector itself.
4. UNESCO must reinforce the programmes of higher education in Asia and the Pacific.
Further, it was strongly put forth that the elaboration of plans and decisions should be based on the following principles: relevance, autonomy, quality, and cooperation.
That within their capacity, UNESCO and other international and interregional governmental and non-governmental organizations should respond to the requests to provide technical assistance to smaller and poorer countries in the region, in particular those of island nations, and to collaborate with them in the preparation of joint plans of actions with a view to the development of higher education institutions.
* Editor's Note: The subject of the 15th International PPSEAWA Conference at Saratoga Springs, New York in June 1981.
Last Modified: June 05, 2010