【SATU E-News Vol. 1】 2017 SATU Presidents' Forum Steering Committee Meeting at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand
The annual SATU Presidents' Forum Steering Committee Meeting took place at the Prince of Songkla University, Phuket Campus, in Thailand during October 28th–29th, 2017. In total, there were 13 representatives from 13 Steering Committee member universities assembled at the meeting, representing nine countries, including Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
At the beginning of the meeting, the SATU International Secretariat provided a summary of the activities that took place during the preceding year. The Chairperson of SATU, President Huey-Jen Jenny Su, next made an opening speech that focused on the two main programs that due to their remarkable performances, have motivated the forum to keep moving on. The first is the Joint Research Scheme (JRS), an academic collaboration program that was implemented six years ago. The wonderful achievements of this scheme can be described by a) tabulations and statistics of important data that can contribute to academic developments, and b) successful publication of the findings of projects, which were partially funded by JRS, in SCI articles. This demonstrates the role that SATU has had in enhancing international research collaborations among SATU member universities. The second program involves industrial collaborations focusing on medical devices and medical technology and development. President Su pointed out that a Global Academia–Industry Alliance (GAIA) Hub has been successfully established in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in collaboration with the University of Malaya. Other hubs will be launched in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi in Vietnam, and in Indonesia later this year.
Furthermore, Prof. Michael Alba of the Far Eastern University in the Philippines proposed a motion to establish local chapters in every country, so that member universities 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 stronger connections among member universities. The SATU Steering Committee Meeting also invited the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), which had applied to join the SATU Presidents' Forum, to the meeting. In the meeting, the university's application was approved by the Steering Committee members, and the total number of member universities was thus increased from 82 to 83.
Lastly, two sessions at the end marked a great ending to the meeting. The first session on Higher Education in Thailand was given by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bundit Thipakorn, Vice President for Academic Development, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. He provided an introduction to the fundamental concepts upon which Thailand's higher education are based. The second session focused on Taiwan's New Southbound Policy on higher education. Three speakers from three Taiwanese member universities, Prof. Hong Hocheng, President of the National Tsing Hua University, Prof. Ching-Ray Chang, Executive Vice President for Administrative Affairs at the National Taiwan University, and Prof. Oscar Perng, of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the National Cheng Kung University, provided an insightful introduction to the important implications of this new policy.