Monthly Report No.23 (May. 30, 2011)
Dear AC21 Members and Colleagues,
It is time again for the monthly report from the AC21 General Secretariat. I would like to start this monthly report off with a heartfelt thank you to Chulalongkorn University, the President of Chulalongkorn University, Professor Dr. Pirom Kamolratanakul and Vice President Professor Kua Wongboonsin, the Department of Engineering for agreeing to host the 4th AC21 Student World Forum and to help with the organization of the 9th AC21 Steering Committee (STC) Meeting, as well as to all of the faculty, university staff, student participants and the numerous student volunteers who made these event such memorable and successful ones. Thanks also go out to Kasetsart University for arranging the STC transportation and special AC21 tour of Kasetsart Campus on May 16th, 2011.
The 9th AC21 Steering Committee Meeting was held at Chulalongkorn University on the 15th and 16th of May. Activities on May 15th were started off with a lunch hosted on the Chulalongkorn Campus at the Department of Engineering for all 25 Steering Committee Meeting participants. There were 14 participants from the STC from all 7 STC representative universities and 11 participants of the GA from 6 universities in attendance. After opening remarks were heard by the Director of the AC21 General Secretariat and Vice President of Nagoya University, Professor Yoshihito Watanabe and Vice President of Chulalongkorn University Professor Kua Wongboonsin, the meeting covered various agenda items including the AC21 General Secretariat Report, Responsibilities of Members, New Membership Inclusion, Steering Committee Membership Terms, Special Project Fund Guideline Amendments, as well as future AC21 event proposals. Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor John Taplin from the University of Adelaide also gave a presentation on the possibility of the AC21 joining UNAI (United Nations Academic Impact) as a group in the future.
Monday the 16th, and Day Two of the Steering Committee Meeting events began with an invitation extended to participate in, and witness as guests, the official Opening Ceremony for the 4th AC21 Student World Forum. A second shorter Steering Committee Meeting was conducted on May 16th that included the handing over of the AC21 Presidency “ornament” from Shanghai Jiao Tong University to the University of Adelaide, representing the responsibility undertaken as the next host of the AC21 International Forum in 2012. Presentations were also made on upcoming AC21 events for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Thank you to all of the 7 STC members in attendance, as well as to the many GA member observers and participants from Gadjah Mada University, Northeastern University, Stellenbosch University, the University of Strasbourg, Tongji University and the University of Minnesota. We hope that the events proved to be both stimulating and worthwhile for your institutions and we hope to see many of you in attendance at future STC meetings. After a joined lunch with the students who soon left for further fieldwork study in the southern Petchaburi province, the Steering Committee members and observers then moved on to a pre-arranged campus tour and thorough introduction of Kasetsart University, also a member of AC21. Members were able to tour the campus, meet with various faculty members and personally tour facilities and labs in the departments of Engineering, Agriculture and the Kasetsart Agricultural and Agro-Industrial Product Improvement Institute. A farewell dinner was hosted in the evening by Chulalongkorn University to bring a wonderful end to the Steering Committee Meetings and events.
The 4th AC21 Student World Forum was held in Bangkok, Thailand and hosted by Chulalongkorn University. 63 students attended this forum, with 34 international and 29 local students from both Chulalongkorn and Kasetsart University. Starting with the arrival of the students on Saturday the 14th and Sunday the 15th, the student’s first activity was an evening reception held on May 15th at the picturesque historical reproduction “Thai House” outdoor facility on campus. STC meeting participants were also invited to attend this event, giving both students and university administrators a chance to mix and chat in an informal setting, as well as giving all those in attendance a chance to learn more about the AC21.
Monday the 16th was the official AC21 Student World Forum Opening Ceremony, which gave students a chance to hear opening addresses by President Pirom Kamolratanakul of Chulalongkorn University and Director of the AC21 General Secretariat and Vice President of Nagoya University, Yoshihito Watanabe. Associate Professor of Nagoya University, Akiyoshi Yonezawa, also delivered a keynote speech on the importance of international networking in Asia. The students also travelled to Petchaburi Province for three days of study at the Huay Sai Royal Development Study Center where they participated in lectures and hands-on fieldwork focused on “Soil Recovery”. Students were able to witness successful examples of soil development, made necessary by the degradation of the soil over time as a result of past practices in unsustainable cash-crop pineapple plantations in the area.
Students later returned to Bangkok and Chulalongkorn Campus where they heard three keynote speeches from agricultural experts and professors rounding out their understanding of the fieldwork in Petchaburi Province.
The final farewells were bittersweet and a sure testimony to the fact that some very strong bonds and lasting friendships were formed during the student’s 7 days together in Thailand. We hope that our AC21 University Consortium Network was able to fulfill its role of taking the initiative in this quickly changing global society and give the citizens of tomorrow knowledge, expertise and experience that will help them, and the world, to form closer networks with each other. We have brought the students together, but it is up to them to learn and grow from this unique and exciting experience. We wish them the best of luck.
We would like to thank Chulalongkorn University once again on the resounding success of the 4th AC21 Student World Forum and to all AC21 Members for their continued participation and support.
*The next event is the NAFSA Breakfast located in Vancouver, Canada and hosted by Chemnitz University of Technology on June 1st, 2011 at 10:00 am. Interested parties please contact Katrin Schulz at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We hope to see many of you at the AC21 International Forum 2012, hosted by the University of Adelaide. The theme of the forum is “Maximising the Benefits of Internationalisation” and will run from June 12th to 15th, 2012.
Sheri Love Yasue
AC21 Project Coordinator
AC21 General Secretariat