SEAMEO successfully concludes its 2022 Virtual TVET Student Exchange

Tuesday, 25 April 2023 | Ansgar Schaefer


To promote the internationalisation of TVET institutions and improve international competitiveness and employability of TVET students in Southeast Asian countries, the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) has been coordinating and facilitating the SEAMEO TVET Exchange Programme since 2017 among its SEAMEO TVET Network upon the recommendation of the 3rd High Officials Meeting on SEA-TVET.

In 2022 the SEAMEO Secretariat initiated its 1st Virtual SEAMEO TVET Student Exchange aimed at students from the diploma, higher diploma, or bachelor level. The Virtual Exchange started in May 2022 and concluded in October 2022.

As a result, 74 institutions from Brunei Darussalam (1), Indonesia (35), Malaysia (18), Philippines (17), Thailand (2), and Vietnam (1) participated in the exchange programme and exchanged a total of over 800 students across more than 12 study areas (i.e., Engineering, Food Technology, Logistics, Informatics, Computer Science, IT, Creative Industries, Multimedia, Commerce and Accounting, Business, Hospitality and Tourism, Agriculture, Culinary).



In individual, bilateral agreements, partner institutions had agreed on a virtual exchange duration ranging from 2-6 weeks depending on the need, capability, and academic calendar of the individual partners.

To support the virtual exchange across 11 countries with 74 participating institutions, SEAMEO had launched the SEAMEO TVET Exchange Platform provided by Linkr Education Inc. to effectively facilitate virtual and blended exchange across a large network of institutions - now and in the future.

The SEAMEO Virtual Exchange Platform allows participating institutional coordinators and students to facilitate and join discussions, coordinate details of the virtual exchange, conduct project-based assignments, and create and join online courses and webinars. As such, the platform inherently supports the development of digital skills of all exchange participants.

Currently 1300 members are registered on the Virtual Exchange Platform, and over 35 bilateral groups between individual exchange partner institutions are active. As there is no end-date for participating in the platform, the participants from 2022 will form an effective alumni network to help guide new members into a positive virtual exchange experience in the future.


Achievements of the Virtual SEAMEO TVET Student Exchange:

SEAMEO made regional faculty and student exchange more resilient, more flexible, more accessible, and more impactful.

By providing TVET students with the opportunity for internationalization – comparable with or even more advance than other educational pathways – the SEAMEO TVET Exchange Programme contributes to improving the image of TVET among students, parents, and educators.

The Virtual Exchange Platform and virtual exchange formats allowed for greater flexibility in conducting activities and increased participation for students who do not have the means to travel. By using modern technology, the exchange programme was able to improve the digital and 21st century skills of over 1.300 involved participants.

Out of:
500 Interviewed Students:
99% Felt their intercultural understanding had improved.
96% Agree there was great coordination, preparation, and exchange with their virtual teachers.

Out of:
51 Institutional Administrators:
95% Agree that the SEAMEO Virtual Exchange Platform by Linkr has helped to facilitate virtual and physical exchange across institutions. 
95-98% Agree that the SEAMEO TVET Exchange Programme has improved the student’s knowledge, maturity, digital and communication skills, and intercultural competencies.


Feedback from our participants:


“Joining the SEAMEO TVET Exchange Programme was a big privilege and opportunity. I was able to discover new topics and gained knowledge through discussions with our professors and to connect with my fellow students from across the region. Although we were physically apart, the learning was fun, and the virtual exchange served as a medium for us to better understand each other.”

“It was an honor to be part of this SEAMEO Virtual Exchange experience. What I liked the most about this programme is that from the very first day of our virtual classes, I could feel the cultural understanding, the enthusiasm, and happiness from our lecturer through the way they teach and communicate with us. I felt very comfortable as a first-time virtual student exchange. What I have improved most through this programme are my communication skills with people from different countries and my personal time management skills. I recommend to other students that are going to join this programme to just be yourself and enjoy the moment. If you are active and participate within the activities and interact with others, it is possible to build new friendships and have a once in a lifetime experience!

- Participating Students


"Being a first time Coordinator […] for this SEAMEO TVET Virtual Exchange is both challenging and rewarding especially when you see your partners, students and participants smiling and enjoying the experience."

- Participating Teacher


“Thank you SEAMEO Secretariat for implementing this virtual exchange. It made our poor but deserving students participate in the exchange which they consider a once in a lifetime experience.

- Participating Teacher


The SEAMEO TVET Exchange Programme will be back in 2023 with hybrid TVET Student Exchange!

Additional information, please visit: SEAMEO TVET Exchange Programme (

For further information or requests please do not hesitate to contact:
Mr Ansgar Schaefer
Integrated Expert TVET