27 January 2023

The Making of the First Ever International Master in Human Development in the ASEAN Region

AUN Writer Team

By Chanya Chinsukserm and Benyasiri Eimviriyapong, AUN Programme Officer

As people continue to learn and develop throughout their lives and learn to apply what they have learned to their careers, having an understanding of human development can be extremely beneficial to them personally and professionally. Human development is a growing field that includes public and private sector careers in corporate human leadership, government human services, international organisations, consulting and social entrepreneurship. The ASEAN region needs professionals to contribute to a key priority for regional development. 

Currently, the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Universiti Malaya is in the process of coordinating the first International Master in Human Development in the Southeast Asia region. This Master’s programme is a collaboration between the Universiti of Malaya (UM) and the ASEAN University Network (AUN), with support from the ASEAN Human Development Organisation (AHDO). 

Dr. Welye J. Jehom from Department of Anthropology & Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UM introduced, during the 8th ECAAR Dialogue Webinar, this Master’s programme as an interdisciplinary course to be taught with the association of other faculties at Universiti Malaya and with AUN university partners. This will certainly provide the opportunity for graduates to contribute to a key priority for regional development and help the learners widen their scope of knowledge and capability while gaining international exposure and building professional networks. The subject matter includes career-building and action learning on human development project.

Part of the process is to get feedback from the industry, corporates and NGOs, the questions are targeted to highlight the importance of human development courses taught at higher learning institutions. Please find the link to answer some relevant questions to address the programme here: https://forms.gle/fMpGbfPtFYT6mzUz9 
(Please note that the survey is strictly for working people in organizations, companies, and corporates. All information gained from our survey will be kept confidential and will not be communicated, divulged, or disclosed.)

Concept of International Master in Human Development
This professional master in human development will be one-year academic programme (2 semesters with 42 credit hours) with foundational knowledge base, critical analysis, cross-cultural capability and employable expertise areas provided in electives and thesis. The  International Master in Human Development would be a great fit for a candidates who are 

  • Social entrepreneurs; 
  • Postgraduate students building their career as Human Resource professional/researcher; 
  • Professionals in NGOs, foundations, donor organisation; 
  • Professionals in government institution; 
  • Practicing Human Resource professionals orienting careers in ASEAN Human Development; or
  • Practicing professional services.

Special Features
Graduates from this Master programme will receive the first ever Master of Arts in Human Development in ASEAN. There will be career development and professional support from ASEAN Human Development Organisation (AHDO). Moreover, the International Master in Human Development supports online programmes to accommodate working professionals across the region with teaching and experts from ASEAN. There will also be various strategic and professional electives to select on the second and third semester.

Programme Structure
This Master’s programme is an international programme with an ASEAN regional core. It is delivered live-online (synchronous sessions) in order to accommodate international students. Courses are scheduled at times that allow the participation of working professionals. The programme of teaching is completed in 3 semesters. The first semester is for core courses. The second and third semester are for electives.

CORE COURSES - (1st semester) 

  1. The Human Development Paradigm: Focusing on theoretical foundations; ASEAN and International Policy frameworks; Human development applications in public and private sectors; research areas 
  2. Careers in Human Development: Focusing on Human development careers and jobs; Sectors and cross-sector needs and skillsets for human development professionals; Individual career strategy project for participants: writing your Personal Enterprise Plan with mentoring by are career professionals 
  3. Developing People and Organisations at Work: Focusing on Workplace rights, social policy, stakeholder capitalism, sustainability,  inequality and social inclusion in the workplace; Work enrichment, capabilities and continuing personal and professional development through career cycles, multigenerational workforce; Organisational development, purpose, productivity, innovation, key development indicators, human-technology applications and ethics
  4. Methodology and Action Learning Research Project: Submission at the end of 3rd Semester dealing with Development / Research Methods in Human Development / Human Development Analytics; Team project to create a human development project; Alternatively: team participation in real human development project where; Teams of 3-4 participants write and present their report on project needs analysis, formulation of key performance and development indicators, business case and feasibility of the project as well as action learning goals and learning assessment
  5. ALP requirements: The project must be about a real human development need or opportunity, preferably in the ASEAN region: An international project (not just 1 country); Support by mentor, sponsor or subject matter expert for the project; Identification of resources or institutional partners for the project; Experience based-learning; Include the measures of key performance indicators (KPIs) and key development indicators (KDIs) 

ELECTIVE COURSES - (2nd and 3rd Semester)

  1. Adult Development at Work: Psychology of work, organisational behaviour, lifelong learning, human development assessment
  2. Socio-Cultural Research and Issues of Human Development: ASEAN socio-cultural community, cultural impact of development projects, working across cultures, issue-based development including diversity, inclusion, well-being
  3. Technology and Human Development: Productivity, innovation, human-technology integration, bias issues, transparency, accountability 
  4. Human Development Ethics, rights and policy in organisations: Types of ethics in ASEAN,  UN and ILO ethics, measuring ethics in organisations,  human rights issues in the workplace
  5. Human Development Economics: Economic theories of work and development, human development as an ASEAN economic community priority, human development aid, human development vs human capital, inequality, sustainability 
  6. Human development leadership, public and private sectors, social entrepreneurship, thought leadership: Leadership purpose, social responsibility, social innovation, leadership communication and influence, role model and exemplarity 
  7. Individual human development: Theories of adult development, self-development in the workplace, organisational and professional support of  individuals through counselling, coaching, mentoring and personal development programmes
  8. Becoming a Human Development researcher: Academic and applied research, using qualitative and quantitative methods, using research for policy and thought leadership,  research-based careers  
  9. Human Development, Sustainability and Biodiversity: SDGs, incorporating human resource and natural resource management, linking organisational development