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【SATU E-News Vo.1】 2017 SATU Presidents’ Forum Steering Committee Meeting at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand
SATU Presidents’ Forum (Presidents’ Forum of Southeast Asia and Taiwan Universities), initiated by National Cheng Kung University from Taiwan in 2003, held the annual 2017 steering committee meeting at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand. The forum is an iconic platform for sharing and exchanging ideas about the enhancement of higher education among member universities. Input of ideas and opinions to the forum has been beneficial to all members for understanding and fulfilling the demands of higher education in Southeast and South Asia and Taiwan. The objectives of SATU Presidents’ Forum are mainly focused on international academic cooperation among Taiwan and Southeast and South Asian countries. Action plans, such as SATU Joint Research Scheme (JRS) project and the SATU Mobility Action for Regional Talents (SMART) program have been established to carry out the forum’s mission in improving and enhancing the standards of education, research and community services. 
SATU Presidents’ Forum Steering Committee Meeting took place at Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus, in Thailand during October 28th-29th, 2017. Totally there were thirteen representatives from thirteen steering committee member universities, representing nine countries including Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, assembled at the meeting. In the beginning of the meeting, the SATU International Secretariat reported the activities over the trailing year. Also, the Chair of SATU, Prof. Huey-Jen Jenny Su, made an opening speech by enumerating two main motives based on their remarkable performances that keep the forum moving on. The first is JRS project, an academic collaboration program which has been implemented for six years. Its achievements could be properly profiled into a.) tabulations and statistics with meaningful data that can contribute to concrete academic developments, and b.) outcomes of preliminary performances of JRS project were the successful publication of several SCI articles which were partially funded by JRS. This demonstrated the role of SATU in enhancing international research collaboration among SATU member universities. The second is the industrial collaboration focusing on medical devices and medical technology and development. President Su pointed out that a center has been successfully established in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; others will be launched in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi in Vietnam and in Indonesia later this year.
Furthermore, Prof. Michael Alba from Far Eastern University in the Philipines proposed a motion to establish local chapters in every country so that member universities themselves can organize events and invite Taiwan partners to participate. This would encourage the steering committee members in every country to be put in charge of promoting stonger connections among member universities. SATU steering commitee meeting also invited University Putra Malaysia (UPM), which had applied for joining SATU Presidents’ Forum, to the meeting. In the meeting, the university’s application was approved by the steering commitee members and the number of member universities has thus increased from 82 to 83 in total.
To top icing on the cake, two speech sessions at the end marked a great ending to the meeting. The first session on the Higher Education in Thailand was given by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bundit Thipakorn, Vice President for Academic Development, King Mongkut University of Technology. He provided a bunch of fundamental conceptions about Thailand’s higher education. Session 2 was on Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy on higher education by three speakers from three Taiwanese member universities. They were, Prof. Hong Hocheng, President of National Tsing Hua University, Prof. Ching-Ray Chang, Executive Vice President for Administrative Affairs of National Taiwan University, and Prof. Oscar Perng, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, National Cheng Kung University.
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