BANGKOK, THAILAND, December 1, 2017 – Representatives of governments and leading universities in ASEAN and Japan gathered in Bangkok on December 1, 2017 to sign on the Cooperative Framework Phase IV of the AUN/SEED-Net or ASEAN University Network/Southeast Asia Engineering Education Development Network. The Signing Ceremony was jointly organized by the ASEAN University Network (AUN) Secretariat, the AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in cooperation with the Office of Higher Education Commission (OHEC) and the Ministry of Education of Thailand, and was attended by representatives of the ASEAN member countries, Japan, the representative of the ASEAN Secretariat, and presidents, representatives of the AUN/SEED-Net Member Institutions as well as invited observers.
Since its inauguration in 2001, AUN/SEED-Net has been implementing program activities with 26 Member Institutions from ASEAN and 14 Supporting Universities from Japan. Since 2001, the AUN/SEED-Net Project has given scholarships to over 1,300 students and young teaching staff to study in Master’s and Doctoral levels to strengthen faculty qualifications and academic capacities. It also produces a number of collaborative research projects between the ASEAN member institutions and Japanese supporting universities, tightens connection and partnership among them, and sets off the network of engineering experts among ASEAN and Japan. Around 211 research grants are awarded to faculty staff; while 450 supports awarded to faculty staff for mobility programme. In accordance with the previous work plan, the Government of Japan made a commitment to support Phase IV.
Signing on behalf of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) was the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic & International), Prof. Dr. Zainuddin Abd. Manan. Also attending the ceremony was Pro-Vice Chancellor (International), Prof. Dr. Nordin Yahaya. The activity plan for the AUN/SEED-Net Project – Phase IV would start from March 2018 to March 2023. Since 2012, UTM has become an AUN/SEED-Net Member Institution and in the face of Phase IV, UTM will be the host for the field of Civil Engineering and Natural Disaster.
Two major goals were expected from the implementation of Phase IV: (1) the expansion of network at the institutional as well as individual level and (2) solving regional common issues and developing industry sector in the region through AUN/SEED-Net network. As the network was regarded as the most important asset for project’s result, the goal to be achieved by the end of Phase IV was to maintain and expand the network. The four expected outputs : (1) strengthening network among MIs, industry, and community (2) enhancing research and educational capacity (3) jointing research to solve common regional issues and (4) expanding network between MIs and JSUs.