Originating from the collaboration among several higher education institutions in Asia, the Asian University Presidents Forum (AUPF) was officially founded in 2002. Since then, AUPF members have routinely met every year, with the opportunity to host the meeting rotated among participating universities. In 2018, the 17th AUPF meeting will take place in Indonesia, particularly at Petra Christian University (PCU), in Surabaya. In the previous year, the 16th AUPF meeting was held in the Philippines Normal University, the Philippines. The 17th meeting this year will highlight the theme of “Disruption at the Cross Roads: Innovative Engagement and Future Challenges for Higher Education.”
Joining AUPF has brought numerous benefits for its participants, one of them being the opportunity to build a network with higher education institutions across Asia. This is of course in line with AUPF’s mission, which is to “increase communication, exchange information, share experience, and seek common development.” In the 17th AUPF Meeting at PCU, the cooperation among members will be formalized with the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which is scheduled on the last day of the meeting. Participating institutions will have a vast opportunity to cooperate with other institutions, such as through co-organizing conferences, student exchange programs, faculty research programs, summer programs, and many more.
To facilitate this, the AUPF Committee will share the list of participating institutions with all participants who attend the meeting so that they can start exploring the possibilities for establishing cooperation with the other institutions. For PCU, joining AUPF has brought significant impact, particularly in terms of international cooperation. “AUPF members include many universities which means a bigger network. Networking and cooperating with international universities become easier for us because we have known each other as AUPF members,” Monika Kristanti, S.E., M.A., the Head of the Bureau for Cooperation and Institutional Development, said.
PCU has been an AUPF member since 2012, and since then it has worked together with numerous international institutions. Some of PCU’s major programs are the outcome of its collaboration with other AUPF members. Asian Summer Program (ASP), for example, is a collaborative effort between PCU and four other universities, namely Dongseo University, Korea, Bangkok University, Thailand, Josai University, Japan, and Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Malaysia. Today, ASP has also included other AUPF members. “This is a positive thing for PCU, since PCU students who join the ASP program have more opportunities to meet and interact with students from many different countries,” Meilinda, S.S., M.A., AUPF 2018’s Steering Committee, mentioned.
This year, PCU initiated the publication of Asian Higher Education Chronicles, AUPF’s first publication. This bulletin will feature ideas from the Rectors or Presidents of higher education institutions from all over Asia to develop the higher education field in Asia. “As the host for the 17th AUPF meeting, PCU also becomes the member of AUPF Standing Committee, and this will enable PCU to contribute strategic thoughts and ideas for AUPF in its effort to develop higher education institutions in Asia,” Meilinda, S.S., M.A., said.
Moving forward, AUPF members can work together to seek international funding and grants for development purposes. At the moment, there are many international grants which make consortium as one of their requirements. Therefore, AUPF is definitely the right place for higher education institutions in Asia to start seeking partners to work together for the betterment of education in Asia.
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