Mobility will have a positive impact on academic and cultural development as well as political, social and economic spheres. The training of skilled university graduates with cross-cultural experience aids labor mobility in the region, thus developing a skilled ASEAN workforce to meet individual countries human resources needs. Student mobility provides an infrastructure for students to travel and learn in countries in the region. If promoted, this can lead to the effective circulation of human resources in the region, where countries make use of qualified graduates from other nations.
Additionally, if properly pursued, the benefits resulting from the higher education harmonization programmes are expected to see the development of a multicultural space where people respect differences in culture, language and religion while aware of common values and unity of the ASEAN character, with respect and support of each other’s culture. We strongly believe that student mobility will be a driving force in the development of ASEAN community, contributing to regional development.
In Southeast Asia, past efforts to promote student mobility in Southeast Asia concentrated on bilateral collaborations between higher education institutes in the region. The benefits emerging from this cooperation are therefore limited to the individual institutions participating in such an agreement (SEAMEO RIHED, 2009). The M-I-T Student Mobility Programme overcomes this limited scope by working with both governments and higher education institutes to develop a truly regional programme. This competitive advantage will continue with the expansion of the AIMS project to include all Southeast Asian Member Countries.