12 October 2022

The 37th ASEAN University Network Board of Trustees Meeting

AUN Writer Team

By Chanya Chinsukserm, AUN Programme Officer

The ASEAN University Network (AUN) Board of Trustees Meeting is a platform designated to report the key results of AUN in the past year and discuss a direction for future collaboration of the AUN Member Universities towards the path of regional higher education within the ASEAN region and beyond. The 37th AUN Board of Trustees Meeting, hosted by the National University of Laos (NUOL) and co-hosted by the AUN Secretariat, was arranged on 28 September 2022. While the 36th AUN-BOT Meeting was organised virtually in 2021 due to the health and safety concerns during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s Meeting returned to its onsite format at Landmark Mekong Riverside Hotel in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The 13th Rectors' Meeting attendees who served as Presidents, Rectors, Vice-Chancellors, and other representatives of AUN Member Universities were cordially invited to attend the Meeting as observers.

Overview of the AUN Board of Trustees
The AUN was established to be a prime mover of regional cooperation for the advancement of ASEAN higher education. It has become one of the ASEAN Sectoral Ministerial Body that strengthens the existing collaboration network among universities in ASEAN.  Its unique shared values and belief system have helped the network achieve a number of notable achievements thus far. Upon its objectives to promote collaborative study, research, and educational programmes, as well as to promote cooperation and solidarity among scholars, academicians, and researchers in the ASEAN countries, the AUN Board of Trustees holds the powers and functions to ensure the alignment of the AUN directions with ASEAN priorities. Its duties are to review and approve strategic plans and monitor progress on their implementation and planning of the AUN activities. It also upholds and authorises the establishment of AUN Thematic Networks and their activities. Additionally, the AUN Board of Trustees oversees the managerial activities, such as budget plans and applications for membership. Thus, the AUN Board of Trustees Meeting is determined to be held annually in closed session. The AUN Board of Trustees consists of fourteen representatives in regard to the following positions:

  • Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, Thailand as an ex-officio member and Chairman of the AUN-BOT;
  • President/Rector/Vice-Chancellor designated from each of the ten ASEAN Member Countries
  • Chair of Senior Officials Meeting on Education (SOMED), as an ex-officio member; 
  • Secretary-General of ASEAN, as an ex-officio member; 
  • Director of Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO) Secretariat as an ex-officio member; and 
  • Executive Director of the AUN, as an ex-officio member

The 37th AUN Board of Trustees Meeting
At the 37th AUN Board of Trustees Meeting, Prof. Sirirurg Songsivilai, M.D., PhD., Chairman of the AUN Board of Trustees, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation, Thailand, held the position of Chairman of this year’s Meeting. Recent AUN developments and accomplishments from the previous year were substantially highlighted during the Meeting. The following lists of thematic networks and organisations represent ongoing regional and international collaborations with AUN, the progress of which was extensively elaborated during this year's Meeting.

AUN Thematic Networks and other regional engagements

  1. ASEAN University Network/ Southeast Asia Engineering Education (AUN/SEED-Net)
  2. ASEAN University Network-Quality Assurance (AUN-QA)
  3. ASEAN University Network-Health Promotion Network (AUN-HPN)
  4. ASEAN Credit Transfer System (AUN-ACTS)
  5. ASEAN Thematic Network on Ecological Education and Culture (AUN-EEC)/ ASEAN University Network - Sustainable City and Urban Development (AUN-SCUD)/University of Turku (UTU)
  6. ASEAN Thematic Network on Ecological Education and Culture (AUN-EEC)/Arizona State University
  7. AUN Secretariat Engagement with University Ranking/Rating Organizations

Global Engagements (Open Session)

  1. Global University Associations Forum (GUAF)
  2. Tuning Academy, University of Groningen (CALOHEA Project)
  3. The Six National Universities Network/International Education & Research System (SUN/SixERS)
  4. The National Council for Youth Organization in Korea (NCYOK)
  5. Joint Statement of the European University Association (EUA), International Association of Universities (IAU) and ASEAN University Network (AUN)
  6. The International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (UNESCO-ICHEI)
  7. University of Potsdam (ASEAN-QA Project)
  8. ASEAN-India Cooperation

In conclusion, the constructive discussion and productive outcomes during the Meeting yielded fruitful results with such positive impacts on the future of AUN. AUN will utterly be prepared and keep improving its contributions to ASEAN and the international community.

In the upcoming issues, there will be special articles featuring the open session of the ASEAN Indian Cooperation and the EURAXESS during this year’s AUN Board of Trustees. Please stay tuned!