Quality Assurance is a key mechanism through which the harmonization of higher education can be promoted. In 2008, SEAMEO RIHED collaborated with the Malaysian Quality Assurance Agency to help establish the ASEAN Quality Assurance Network (AQAN). AQAN was designed to promote collaboration in regional quality assurance. The October 2011 AQAN Roundtable Meeting, in which SEAMEO RIHED participated, agreed to establish a task force to develop a regional Quality Assurance framework in the form of the ASEAN Quality Assurance Framework for Higher Education (AQAFHE).
In a related development, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) initiated the ASEAN-QA Project to promote regional quality assurance in Southeast Asia. The ASEAN-QA project is based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the DAAD, HRK, the ASEAN University Network (AUN), SEAMEO RIHED, AQAN and its European counterpart, the European Association of Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA). The MoU was signed into force in July 2011 in Bonn, Germany, and covers a multi-part training course running through 2013 and directed at QA coordinators at regional higher education institutions and officers of QA agencies in Southeast Asia.