Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chusak Limsakul, PSU President, and his team comprised of Asst. Prof. Dr. Pattara Aiyarak, Vice President for International Affairs, and Mrs. Salma Kosumphant, Head of the International Affairs Office, participated in the 2nd ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conference hosted by Chiang Mai University from November 6-7, 2014. The event was attended by 78 representatives of all 30 AUN member universities plus five Chinese, three Japanese and two South Korean universities.
The ASEAN+3 University Network (ASEAN+3 UNet) was established during the 1st ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conference, held on November 1, 2012, in Beijing, P.R. China, in order to provide a cooperative framework on higher education between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries (P.R. China, Japan, South Korea).
The Opening Ceremony of the 2nd ASEAN+3 Rectors’ Conferencewas honored by Ms. Aporn Kanvong, Deputy Secretary-General of the Office of Higher Education Commission. Assoc. Prof. Niwes Nantachit, M.D., Chiang Mai University President, warmly welcomed all participants and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nantana Gajaseni, AUN Executive Director, gave an Introductory Presentation in the opening session. During the conference, the main discussions emphasized on mutual areas of interest that the member institutions agreed to collectively move towards in the future. Consequently, the cooperation regarding the students of member universities will focus on non-academic and cultural activities; concerning the academic staff, the collaboration will concentrate on academic exchange (fellowships, visiting professors, etc.), research collaboration and joint research supervision; and for the executives it will center on meetings and conferences such as university executive development programs.
Furthermore, six Japanese universities (Chiba University, Kanazawa University, Kumamoto University, Nagasaki University, Okayama University, and Niigata University) and two Korean universities (Korea Polytechnic University and Dongguk University) expressed their desire to join the ASEAN+3 UNet family to work together with the other members towards an enhanced higher education in the region. The ASEAN+3 UNet members approved their request, but the final approval of their membership applications will be considered during the next AUN Board of Trustees Meeting.
An impressive activity arranged by the host university was the celebration of the Loy Krathong Festival, where all participants enjoyed this amazing Thai tradition by floating krathongs down the river and launching beautifully illuminated lanterns into the night sky.