The AQRF is a common reference framework developed based on agreed understanding between ASEAN Member States (AMS). It enables comparisons of education qualifications across participating AMS.
The AQRF was endorsed in three ASEAN Ministerial Meetings, of Economy, Education and Labour, held between 2014 until 2015. Subsequently, the AQRF Governance and Structure document was endorsed in 2016, which provided the basis for the establishment of the AQRF Committee (AQRFC) to implement the AQRF.
By design, the AQRF aims to have a neutral influence on National Qualifications Frameworks (NQF) of participating AMS. AMS are invited to participate in AQRF on voluntary engagement and implementation. More importantly, engagement in AQRF does not require changes to National Qualifications Systems (NQS). AQRF respects the specific structures and processes of participating AMS to maintain their responsiveness to national priorities.
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The Malaysian Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education) in Shift 10: Transformed Higher Education Delivery outlined the need of linking the national system to the regional system.
Initiative D1: Enhancing MQA processes and the quality assurance framework stated that 'the MQF will be revised to facilitate greater harmonization with the TVET sector, as well as to align with the AQRF'.