Annual Report 2007/08
 

AUN/SEED-Net at a Glance

Establishment of AUN/SEED-Net 23 April 2001
Duration of Project 5 years (March 2003-March 2008)
Number of Member Institutions in ASEAN 19 universities in 10 countries
Number of Japanese Supporting Universities 11 universities in Japan
Number of Scholarships Awarded (as of March 2008) 445 (since 2001)
  Master's Degree Program 311 (since 2001)
  PhD Sandwich Program 66 (since 2003)
  PhD Program in Japan 56 (since 2002)
  PhD Program in Singapore 12 (since 2006)
Number of Graduates (as of March 2008) 214 (since 2001)
  Master's Graduates 189
  Doctoral Graduates 25
Sources of Fund in Phase I Government of Japan through JICA and ASEAN Foundation
Total Annual Funding from Japanese Government Approximately USD 3 million
JICA Team for AUN/SEED-Net: Chief Advisor Prof. Dr. Kazuo TSUTSUMI
AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat: Executive Director Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sucharit Koontanakulvong
 

Message from JICA Headquarters

The curtain of the first phase of the AUN/SEED-Net falls with a great success, and we are about to open a new curtain of the second phase with even greater expectations.

Recalling the difficulties of the early days of the AUN/SEED-Net, when everyone involved struggled hard in the darkness to find a way to establish viable and useful framework of cooperation, it almost seems miraculous to see all the achievement of the first phase of the AUN/SEED-Net: every one of about 440 faculty members and would-bes who have obtained Master’s and PhD degrees; every string of interconnected human and organizational networks; every hard earned result of collaborative researches; and establishment of the framework and implementation mechanism of the AUN/SEED-Net from a scratch to a “regional public goods.”

The endeavor of the AUN/SEED-Net will not end with the completion of the first phase. Building upon the groundwork laid during the first phase, the second phase will further fortify the foundation of the network, and will explore new horizons: further strengthening of human resources and graduate schools; expansion of network to involve non-member universities and industries; collaborative research on common issues of the region; and creation of joint graduate programs consortium among ASEAN and Japan. Of course, there are many “good” challenges waiting ahead of us in the second phase as well. But I’m sure that, by consolidating each member’s effort, these challenges can be turned into opportunities.

Our biggest challenge will be financial sustainability. JICA feels honored to have contributed to financing the major part of expenses during the first phase. This financial structure, however, needs to be changed for the sustainability of the AUN/SEED-Net. Strategies for resource diversification need to be pursued. There is already a bright sign in that the Member Institutions will contribute as much as 28% of the total budget at the outset of the second phase. In addition, the alliance of the top level engineering universities of each country of the region, coupled with further enhanced human and organizational capability, will certainly contribute to establishing beneficial partnership with private sectors of the region as well as Japan. Same effect can also be expected for the more intense partnership with Japanese universities.

AUN/SEED-Net, as a “regional public goods,” can and should contribute to the solution of socio-economic problems of the region: the overwhelming issue of global climate change, the cause and result of which are multi-facet; and adding value to products by inventing new materials or new processing method is also vital for the economy of the region. As an alliance of top engineering universities of the region, the AUN/SEED-Net has a large role to play in solving common issues of the region.

Mr. NISHIWAKI Hidetaka
Director General
Human Development Department
Japan International Cooperation Agency

 

Message from AUN Secretariat

It is an honour and pleasure to greet you all in the latest issue of the AUN/SEED-Net annual report for 2007/2008. On behalf of the AUN, I consider it a great opportunity to work with ASEAN and Japanese friends for the AUN/SEED-Net Project Phase I.

To compliment to the work done under the AUN/ SEED-Net Project Phase I, I am pleased to say that the AUN has always considered the AUN/SEED-Net Project as one of the successful stories under the AUN collaborative framework. At the AUN-BOT Meetings, the AUN Members always express their appreciation to the AUN/SEED-Net model and highlight it as a good model of engaging with dialogue partners in higher education collaboration. I have reviewed that the Project’s purpose was mostly achieved and received high appraisal from all stakeholders. Impact of the Network was also addressed to regional concerns to compliment with relationship among member institutions. The AUN/SEED-Net has received positive responses from ASEAN countries for human resources development in the engineering education fields. Students and Academic staffs of member institutions with different backgrounds have a chance to discuss on their academic points of views, exchange knowledge and research experiences, know each other and become linking as the networking among the ASEAN countries and Japan.

For the continuation of the Project Phase II, I believe that the AUN/SEED-Net would move stronger with a view to upgrading the engineering education standards of the ASEAN community. Definitely, the success could not have been achieved without cooperation and partnership among the AUN Member Institutions and Japanese Supporting Universities.

The AUN will continue, with our utmost capability, to support the work and activities of the AUN/SEED-Net Project Phase II and will work more and more closely with the AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat. In this occasion, I would like to congratulate the beginning of the Project Phase II and also reiterate my appreciation to the Japanese Government for their major contribution to the Project Phase I and Phase II.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Piniti Ratananukul
AUN Executive Director

 

Message from AUN/SEED-Net Chief Advisor

Starting from the preparatory stage in 2001 and followed with the official launch of full-scale implementation in 2003, the AUN/SEED-Net had been on a very long journey until it reached the final implementation year of the first phase - the Japanese Fiscal Year 2007. In the beginning of the journey, there had been countless difficulties in laying the foundation of the network, streamlining Project concept structure and its activities, and of course in designing administrative and operational system. With tireless efforts from all stakeholders and parties concerned, we managed to overcome all obstacles and gradually found our way towards this very promising stage.

During the Project’s Phase I, we had put tremendous efforts in producing human resources in engineering field through several types of scholarship programs, which brought along the upgrading of faculty staff of Member Institutions as we had produced over 400 graduates with higher degrees and almost 70%of them returned to home institutions as teaching staff. Most of others are still studying at PhD level. And of course, we cannot only focus on the numerical perspective as quality should be considered the most important factor in all kinds of development. The AUN/SEED-Net’s concept structure does put an emphasis on the Collaborative Research Program as the key support to the scholarship programs. It was designed to help our students in producing thesis research of high quality with international standard by drawing the input from experts in the respective areas from Japanese Supporting Universities and also from other Member Institutions as co-supervisors. Moreover, several types of visit and dispatch programs both within the region and from/to Japan, as well as the gathering events like biannual Field-wise Seminar Program were implemented to facilitate the collaboration and to create and strengthen the network itself.

Based on all these tangible outputs and achievements during the Project’s first phase witnessed and actually experienced by Member Institutions and all other concerned parties, the mid-term evaluation in Year 2005 and the final evaluation In Year 2007 had very good results and gained appraisal from all stakeholders, which led to the mutual agreement to continue the implementation of the AUN/SEED-Net to the second Phase.

To be honest, I was always delighted to witness the contribution both in kind and in cash from concerned Member Institutions and their government body during the first phase. And I believe we all are overwhelmed to learn that the cost sharing and contributions from ASEAN Foundation, JICA, and all Member Institutions are committed to be in a larger scale. This commitment shows how strong their belief is and how high their expectations are for the second phase, and I think this is genuinely what we can be proud of.

As for the preparation for the second phase, according to the results of preliminary survey of Phase II conducted in parallel with the final evaluation of Phase I, the Project came up with series of ideas and plans to improve the current activities in order to further develop the capacity of Member Institutions, find solutions to common issues of the region, and to strengthen the network for future sustainability. Various dispatch programs within ASEAN and to Japan, as well as a new type of research support program, have changed their target from only faculty staff of Member Institutions to our alumni members who returned to home institutions as teaching staff. We hope this change will, not only help upgrading the members, but will also contribute to finding of solutions to regional issues, and also help foster the network at the same time. This change for improvement is doubtlessly a result of repeated constructive discussions held at most of gathering events of the Project, such as at the steering committee meetings, coordinator meetings, field-wise seminars, which I do appreciate the serious and enthusiastic brainstorming of all parties concerned.

However, the most important thing that can lead us to the Project sustainability is “Ownership’s Spirit”, which of course brings along various kinds of contribution from all stakeholders. This term has been mentioned in many occasions all through this long journey of the Project, and yet I still always believe it is the most powerful keyword which has brought us to where we are proudly standing at today. I am a part of AUN/SEED-Net as much as you are, and, we are equally devoting ourselves to the network. And I have a great wish to see this “Ownership’s Spirit” still always with us through out and even beyond the new phase.

Recently, the Project attracts the attention of Japanese governments as the model one to establish the Asian version of the ERASMUS (European Community Action Scheme for Mobility of University Students) which has been successfully implemented to facilitate the linkage of higher education bodies of European countries.

Now that the AUN/SEED-Net Project’s first phase has ended gracefully, and the second phase has started promisingly, I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to all Member Institutions, Japanese Supporting Universities, and all other concerned authorities and stakeholders for all the contribution, devotion, and commitment to the Project since the beginning. And last but not least, let us wish for the successful implementation of the AUN/SEED-Net’s Phase II, the sustainable development of the region, and mutual understanding between ASEAN and Japan.

Prof. Dr. TSUTSUMI Kazuo
AUN/SEED-Net Chief Advisor

 

Message from AUN/SEED-Net Executive Director

It is my pleasure to be the Executive Director of the AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat during this very important period, the transition of Phase I to Phase II of the AUN/SEED-Net Project. Since the establishment, it has been over seven years of challenges that all stakeholders of the Project have been working together to develop human resource in engineering for the ASEAN region. Eventually at the end of Phase I in FY2007 we have seen fruitful outputs and good impacts generated by the Project, some of which are beyond our expectation.

The final evaluation of the AUN/SEED-Net Project Phase I conducted by JICA Headquarters during April – May 2007 revealed that the goal of Phase I to improve educational and research capacities of the Member Institutions was mostly achieved through exchanges of resources and collaborative relationship among them and with Japanese Supporting Universities. The Project not only produced capable faculty staff for the Member Institutions and engineers for the region, but also enhanced or set up international graduate programs at the Host Institutions as well as joint activities among the Member Institutions. In addition, we have carried off some projects for the ASEAN region, e.g. the Workshop on Disaster Mitigation and Management in ASEAN Countries in 2005, the special support for emergency programs and recovery measures after the Java earthquake in 2006, and several collaborative research projects on common issues of the region.

These outputs might have not been realized without contributions and supports from stakeholders. The Member Institutions and their governments have provided supports for a few programs since the early years, and already committed to give many more assistance and funding to the Project in Phase II. For examples, Host Institutions would waive tuition fees while Sending Institutions would support travel expenses for AUN/SEED-Net master’s students. Some Member Institutions would also subsidize travel expenses and/or allowances for their staff traveling to other Member Institutions. Moreover, the Project received generous support of funding from the ASEAN Foundation for regional conference organization. For these contributions I would like to extend my deep appreciation to all donors and supporters.

Positive results from the evaluation of Phase I and the preliminary survey for Phase II, along with strong recommendations and contributions from all stakeholders, became significant factors for JICA’s consideration to continue the AUN/SEED-Net Project. Finally, the second phase of the Project was approved by the Japanese Government and JICA on October 23, 2007. That was the end of our big task carried over from last year as well as the start of new challenge: Establishing the sustainable framework of human resource development network to contribute to the development of ASEAN under the ownership of the member countries. To reach this goal, we need to enhance capacities of the Member Institutions, to conduct collaborative research for ASEAN community and industry, to strengthen the engineering network, and to become the Graduate School Consortium of Engineering among ASEAN – Japan in the near future. Importantly, we need to put more emphasis on interdisciplinary research, alumni network, and public relations so as to increase the Network’s recognition and high impacts. Above all, with assistance from all stakeholders and AUN/SEED-Net alumni, the Project needs to adopt a cost-sharing scheme in most programs and to acquire more contributions from the member countries and industries for project activities, so as to enhance and sustain this collaborative network for ASEAN further development.

My service in the capacity of AUN/SEED-Net Executive Director will come to an end on May 31, 2008. On this occasion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all of my colleagues and supporters at the Member Institutions and the ASEAN Member Countries, the Japanese Government and JICA, the Japanese Supporting Universities, ASEAN Foundation, ASEAN Secretariat, and ASEAN University Network for their kind support to my duties and active collaboration with the AUN/SEED-Net Project. Last but not least, I would like to thank my colleagues and team members at the AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat, who have assisted me with all project activities. I wish that your generosity and cooperation will be extended to my successor as well.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sucharit Koontanakulvong
AUN/SEED-Net Executive Director

 

Background

For sustainable industrial development of ASEAN, the ASEAN University Network/Southeast Asia Engineering Education Development Network (AUN/SEED-Net) Project was established as an autonomous sub-network of the ASEAN University Network (AUN) in April 2001 from the initiatives of former Japanese Prime Ministers H.E. Mr. Hashimoto and Mr. Obuchi at the Japan-ASEAN Summit Meeting in 1997 and the ASEAN-Plus-Three Summit Meeting in 1999 respectively. The Project has been operated fully since 2003 with the aim at promoting human resources development in engineering in ASEAN, through the establishment of the network of 19 leading Member Institutions (MIs) from 10 ASEAN countries with the support of 11 leading Japanese Supporting Universities (JSUs).

AUN/SEED-Net is mainly supported by the Japanese Government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and partially supported by the ASEAN Foundation. Activities are implemented by the MIs and the AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat with the support of the JICA Project for AUN/SEED-Net, now based at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand.

Vision

Sustainable social and economic development is promoted in ASEAN countries.

Project Objectives

With a view to effectively utilising regionally available human resources for upgrading higher engineering education as a whole, AUN/SEED-Net seeks to activate internationally competitive personnel in leading engineering educational institutions in the region for advancing academic cooperation on an equal footing and for providing educational and technical assistance to less advanced engineering institutions and to promote collaboration and solidarity between academics and professionals in the region through the cross-border and region-wise development of engineering education and research capabilities, corresponding to the founding principles of AUN.

Expected Outputs

  • Upgrading faculty qualification through acquisition of graduate degrees
  • Enhancement of host graduate programs
  • Promoting joint activities and strengthening human linkage among Member Institutions

Strategy & Concept Structure

To realize the goal, a consortium of graduate schools of engineering has been established to produce graduates with higher degrees of international standard by utilizing leading human resources from MIs and JSUs. Nine engineering fields have been identified and assigned to the nine MIs to act as the “regional hub” of each field in principle.

These MIs, so-called Host Institutions (HIs) are responsible for training young graduates and teaching staff from other MIs to acquire master’s degrees and doctoral degrees in a Sandwich Program with JSUs. The JSUs, headed by Field Coordinating University (FCU) of each field, assist HIs in “joint thesis research supervision” of AUN/SEED-Net students to upgrade the quality of research through the Collaborative Research Program and the Japanese Professors Dispatch Program. Others supporting programs are provided for academic excellence and networking, e.g. Short-Term Visit/Study Program in Japan, Short-Term Visit Program within Member Institutions, Field-wise Seminars.

The concept structure of AUN/SEED-Net and the table of host fields with host institutions and field coordinating universities are shown below.

Concept Structure of AUN/SEED-Net Project Activities

Nine Engineering Fields & Respective Host Institutions

Chemical Engineering (ChE)
Civil Engineering (CE)
Electrical & Electronics Engineering (EEE)
Environmental Engineering (EnvE)
Geological Engineering (GeoE)
Information & Communication Technology (ICT)
Manufacturing Engineering (ManuE)
Materials Engineering (MatE)

Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering (ME/AE)

DLSU
CU
CU
UP
UGM
KMITL
UM
USM

ITB(INA)

Tokyo Institute of Technology
Hokkaido University
Tokyo Institute of Technology Tokyo Institute of Technology
Kyushu University
Tokai University
Keio University
Toyohashi University of Technology
Toyohashi University of Technology

(The two Singaporean Member Institutions, namely NTU and NUS, may host every engineering field.)

 

Master's Degree Program

In the fiscal year 2007, 64 scholars have completed their study. Seven of them were awarded to pursue doctoral degree under the Doctoral Degree Program in Japan and one under Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program. Besides, one Master’s student from ITB who expected to graduate in this fiscal year was the first student upgraded to study in the doctoral program at National University of Singapore (NUS) with co-sponsorship from the university for two additional years.

In JFY2007 the Master’s Degree Program has received 194 applications from 137 applicants. They were from 10 Sending Institutions excluding CU, KMITL, UM, USM and UY. Around 67% of the applications and applicants were from CLMV countries. The successful candidates from each Sending Institution are shown in Chart 1.

Chart 1: Number of Master’s Applicants and Scholarships in JFY2007 by Sending Institution

 

The top three HIs with the highest number of applications were UP, CU/CE and CU/EEE, as depicted in Chart 2. The scholarship quota for this fiscal year remained 55 slots or five per Host field. However, in this year, Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT), CU and the project jointly supported one additional scholarship for a Master’s candidate to study in the field of CU/EEE. As a result, total number of Master’s scholars in this fiscal year reached 56. The project awarded 61 candidates but five of them rejected the award due to personal/ family problem (3) and work contract (2). Most HIs fulfilled their quota except NTU and NUS, resulting in four slots remaining. These slots were re-allocated to UP (as the HI with highest number of applications), KMITL, ITB and UGM (considering the number of applications from SIs). Around 60% of the scholarships were granted to the candidates from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (see Chart 3).

Chart 2: Number of Master’s Applications and Scholarships in JFY2007 by Host Institution

 

Chart 3: Distribution of Master’s Scholarships in JFY2007 by Sending Country

By the end of the first Phase in fiscal year 2007, the Master’s program received applications from 797 candidates in total including those who applied during the Project’s preparatory period of FY2001 and FY2002. Over seven years, the program has awarded 311 scholars to study at Member Institutions in ASEAN. Nonetheless, the project could expect 299 graduates only as 12 scholars dropped out due to various reasons such as health problems and weak academic background. 

Chart 4: Overview of Master's Program during JFY2001-2007

The Master’s Program JFY 2008 called for applications between October 2007 and February 2008. 133 applications were endorsed by 12 Sending Institutions (except CU, KMITL and UY). Around 70% of the applications belong to Member Institutions from CLMV countries. Chart 5 shows the number of applications received from each Member Institution.

Chart 5: Number of Master's Applicants and Applications in JFY2008 by Sending Institution

 

 

Message from AUN/SEED-Net Master's Student

Being an AUNSEED-Net student means opportunities: opportunities to learn, hone your skills, and meet people of different race, nationality, and background.  It is also about trying new things, crossing boundaries, expanding your horizon, and gaining new friends.

My two-year stay in Malaysia under the AUNSEED-Net scholarship has been a very rewarding experience for me.  It helped me realize my potentials as an individual and as a professional. It encouraged me to aim higher and go further.  Through AUNSEED-Net's support, I was able to share my work nationally and internationally, as well as learn from the lectures of experts and well-known researchers.  I was also able to write papers for local and international journals under the guidance of my supervisors. I was also given the chance to represent USM and participate in the Young Persons' World Lecture Competition, which is a nerve wracking yet exhilarating experience for me.  Winning the competition was a great thing, but just being able to stand on the stage and share my work and what I've learned to other people is an honor by itself. It was an experience I will always remember.

I can say that I am truly blessed to be an AUNSEED-Net student and I will always be grateful to AUNSEED-Net and USM for everything they have given me.

From Ms. Mary Donnabelle Balela, Master’s student at USM from UP and the winner of the Young Persons' World Lecture Competition (YPWLC) 2007

 

Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program

With great joy and proud, the program celebrated the first and second batch of 12 graduates (four from 2003-intake, eight from 2004-intake) in JFY2007. Two of 2003-intake scholars have completed the study and returned home country but yet to graduate due to their pending journal publication which was one of exit requirements. Nonetheless, their studentship was maintained even though the scholarship period was over when they flew back home to wait for the journal acceptance.

In this fiscal year, 26 candidates applied for this program with 30 applications. Around 88% of candidates was from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. This fiscal year’s figures, unfortunately, were not impressive. When compared to the last fiscal year, the number of applications dropped by 39%. This could have been affected by the higher competition among the AUN/SEED-Net doctoral programs. The increased quota of Doctoral Degree Program in Japan (from 9 to 18 slots) and the full implementation of the Doctoral Degree Program in Singapore in this fiscal year which offered up to 20 scholarships per year could be one of the reasons. 

Chart 6: Number of Doctoral Sandwich Applicants in JFY2007 by Sending Country

HI-wise, ITB was the most popular institution with six applications, followed by DLSU and USM with five applications. In this fiscal year, UGM received no application for this program. The project short-listed 18 applicants and 17 were awarded. One of the awardees (from HCMUT to ITB) declined the scholarship due to personal problem, unfortunately. Besides, one candidate pending for award was carried over to JFY2008 because of the difficulty in assignment of a Japanese co-advisor which was the pre-awarding requirement of a scholar under this program. Consequently, in this fiscal year the program welcomed 16 scholars, among which seven were AUN/SEED-Net Master’s graduates from different years to study at ITB (1), KMITL (1), UM (1), UP (1)and USM (3).

Chart 7: Number of Doctoral Sandwich Applications and Scholarships in JFY2007 by Host Institution

There were 20 eligible scholars for Short-term Study in Japan in this fiscal year including two postponed cases from JFY2006. Only 16 successfully made the short-term study in Japan while four were postponed to JFY2008. Most of the scholars spent 12 months while few stayed for a shorter period of 5 - 10 months with start date between July 2007 and March 2008. Chart 8 illustrates the number of the students who made the short-term study in Japan by field of study.

Chart 8 : Number of Doctoral Sandwich Students Making Short-term Study in Japan in JFY2007 by Field of Study

 

Chart 9: Overview of Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program during JFY2003-2007

Over the five years of Phase I implementation, 66 successful candidates out of 152 applicants were awarded to pursue doctoral degree under this program. Chart 9 illustrates the annual number of applicants and scholars between FY2003 and FY2007.

With the current Master’s graduates of almost 200 and around 100 more were expected to graduate within FY2008 and 2009, the project was aware of the increasing needs of further enhancement of these graduates through doctoral study. As a result, from the fiscal year 2008 which is the start of the project’s Phase II, the Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program offers up to 27 scholarships or three per field per year (the quota was 18 or two per field per year in Phase I). By the end of application period in February 2008, the program has received 23 applications from 22 applicants. Member Institutions from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam remained the big sender of candidates covering 68% of applicants. The number of applicants by SI is illustrated in Chart 10.

Chart 10: Number of Doctoral Sandwich Applicants in JFY2008 by Sending Institution

When compared to the fiscal year 2007, the figures showed a slight drop. Nonetheless, looking at the available quota of 27, the situation became critical because the number of applicants was smaller than the quota. Apart from the higher competition among the project’s doctoral degree programs, there might be other factors towards the drop of applications and the secretariat in cooperation with Member Institutions would find out root cause(s) as well as effective solutions. 

 

Doctoral Degree Program in Japan

With the quota allocated from JICA for international students to pursue doctoral study in Japan for three years, the AUN/SEED-Net kicked off the implementation for its Doctoral Degree Program in Japan in the Japanese Fiscal Year 2002 and 2003, with four and three successful candidates respectively.  After the administrative and operational management as well as the implementation system were clarified and settled, the Project became able to fulfill the quota of nine in JFY2004 and 2005. The program became very popular due to the MIs’ confidence in the research and education standards of each JSU, which holds a very high position in world ranking.

Realizing the continuous high demand of the MIs for teaching / research staff with higher degrees, JICA then agreed to allocate more scholarships for the program from nine to 13 in JFY2006, and then to 18 from JFY2007 which has become the new annual quota for the Program after since.

In JFY2007, the Doctoral Degree Program in Japan has received 44 applications from 10 SIs, with 18 scholarships granted. Twelve from 18 or around 67% of awardees were from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, which is higher than the percentage in Master’s Degree program. The SIs with the highest number of awardees were ITC and HCMUT; each received four scholarships (see Chart 11 and Chart 12).

Chart 11: Number of Doctoral Degree in Japan Applications and Scholarships in JFY2007 by Sending Institution

Chart 12: Doctoral Degree in Japan Scholarships in JFY2007 by Sending Institution and Field of Study

During the AUN/SEED-Net Project’s Phase I (including the preparatory stage), the Project has awarded 56 grants in total for the Doctoral Degree Program in Japan, of which the major sending countries are Indonesia and Vietnam which occupy 32% and 29% of total scholarship awards of the whole phase respectively, as illustrated in Chart 13.

Chart 13: Overview of Doctoral Degree Program in Japan during JFY2002-2007 by Sending Institution

So far nine awardees of the Doctoral Degree Program in Japan have successfully received the degrees, with six of them making it within the three-year scholarship period. Four awardees have already completed the study at the Japanese universities but are still waiting for publication acceptance in order to fulfill the exit requirements of the universities.  All these 12 awardees are now contributing to their home countries in Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Lao PDR. Twelve of them are working as teaching staff at their home institutions, and one is working for a national research institute.

 

Doctoral Degree Program in Singapore

After the first introduction of this program in JFY2006, its implementation at NUS was successful. In this fiscal year, NTU joined the program and offered up to 10 scholarships while NUS generously increased the scholarships from three to 10. By the end of application deadline, 25 individuals from nine SIs applied for this program. The majority of applicants was from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (19) while the rest was from UP (1), ITB (2) and UGM (3). Chart 14 shows that 28 applications were received since some of the candidates applied for both HIs; 19 were for NTU and nine for NUS.

Chart 14: Number of Doctoral Degree in Singapore Applications in JFY2007 by Sending Institution

As this program is co-funded mainly by the two universities and partially by AUN/SEED-Net, the screening as well as selection of successful candidates was conducted according to the admission requirements of the concerned university. Due to the high standard of the two host universities, only 11 candidates were selected and awarded. Unfortunately, two of them declined the offers due to personal problem (1) and acceptance of other scholarship (1). As a result, the program had nine scholars; five to NTU and four to NUS illustrated in Chart 15.

Chart 15: Doctoral Degree in Singapore Scholarships in JFY2007 by Host Institution

Between October 2007 and February 2008, the program called for application for JFY2008 and 29 applicants from nine SIs filed applications. The biggest group of applicants was from MIs in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam (17), followed by Indonesian MIs (9) and only few were from other countries, namely the Philippines (DLSU, 2) and Malaysia (UM, 1). The number of applications, however, reached 40 because 11 candidates submitted applications to both universities. NTU received 19 applications while NUS got 21 applications. Breakdown of number of the applications by SI is shown in the Chart 16.

Chart 16: Number of Doctoral Degree in Singapore Applications in JFY2008 by Sending Institution


 

Promotional Trip

The eight HIs, except NTU and NUS, carried out 32 promotional trips in this fiscal year with average duration of two to five days per trip. Generally, in each trip HIs executed promotional activities at one SI up to four SIs. In total, 54 visits were made at Sending Institutions, except UY and YTU. The most visited SI was NUOL with eight visits, followed by ITC (7) and HCMUT (6).

Over the past five years, JFY2003–2007, the promotional trip program has been actively implemented by all MIs and it has contributed considerably to the Graduate Programs in term of wide awareness creation and quality of the scholars. In total, 239 visits were made in 154 trips. HCMUT, ITC, and NUOL were the most visited SIs by receiving 34, 33 and 32 visits respectively. Obviously, these MIs were very popular since they were among the biggest senders of applicants every year. In case of UY and YTU, only limited number of visit was made due to some operational difficulties.  Chart 17 shows the number of visits received by SIs in each fiscal year while Chart 18 illustrates the visits made by HIs during JFY2003-2007.

Chart 17: Number of Promotional Visits at Sending Institutions during JFY2003-2007

Chart 18: Number of Promotional Trips Made by Host Institutions during JFY2003-2007

This program was initiated and implemented in JFY2002 with the main objective to support HIs to visit Sending Institutions to introduce and promote their study programs which might not be known well among the MIs in order to attract as well as recruit prospective candidates. After five years of implementation, there was no doubt that the study programs at HIs became well known among the MIs and a systematic recruitment of qualified scholars was gradually set. Since the objective was achieved and the project’s budget in Phase II was limited, the promotional trip program would cease by the end of Phase I.

 

Collaborative Research Program

Arisen from the great wish of the Project to enable AUN/SEED-Net students to produce thesis research of high quality with international standards, the concept of Collaborative Research Program (CR) was first introduced to all Member Institutions in JFY2003 with annual budget scale of 3,800 US dollars per master’s student and 5,700 US dollars per doctoral student. The major character of Collaborative Research Program which distinguishes itself from the original thesis research support scheme in the beginning stage is the provision of not only financial support in research activities but also academic/technical input from JSUs as co-advisors or co-investigators of the research projects, so as to enable students to produce thesis research of high quality with international standards. Table 1 shows the number of journal publications and conference proceedings by AUN/SEED-Net students with CR supports during Phase I.

Table 1: Number of Journal Publications and Conference Proceedings by AUN/SEED-Net Students with Collaborative Research Support

Apart from the three main players - the student, advisor at HI, and co-advisor at JSU - the Project also encourages the involvement of co-researchers or co-advisors from other MIs, especially the student’s sending university.  For the first phase of the Project, collaboration from other MIs was about 45% of totally 222 CR projects. The top three strongest communities, according to the Project’s record on involvement of MIs in collaborative research projects as shown in Chart 19, are Materials Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, and Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering respectively.

Chart 19: Involvement of Non-Host Member Institutions in Collaborative Research during JFY2003-2007 by Field of Study

The average support amount to each field was about 20,000-30,000 US dollars which made total of approximately 250,000 US dollars in JFY2003 and 2004. The total support amount gradually climbed up to approximately 500,000 US dollars in JFY2005, and 600,000 US dollars in JFY2006 and 2007 according to the number of on-going students enrolled at HIs in each fiscal year.   The grand total of support for this program for the whole period of the Project’s Phase I is approximately two million US dollars. Detailed figures are presented below.

 

Japanese Professors Dispatch and Short-Term Visit to Japan

As tools to enhance Collaborative Research’s quality and strengthen the connection between MIs and JSUs, Japanese Professor Dispatch Program (JPDP) and Short-term Visit to Japan Program (SVJP) were implemented to facilitate Japanese professors to visit MIs and vice versa.

In JFY2007, 86 quotas from total 90 quotas in JPDP including visits to Field-Wise Seminar (FWS) were used, as shown in Table 2. Among those, about 83% were related to FWS. In addition, 48% of the trips were made to non-hosting MIs. As the program allowed professors to have a connected trip from HI to MI for two countries per dispatch, it increased the number of visit to non-hosting MIs for professors can visit another MI after participating in the FWS.

Table 2: Japanese Professor Dispatch Program and Short-term Visit Program to Japan in JFY2007

For the SVJP, the quota of six per field was allocated so that student’s principal investigators from HIs and co-investigators from non-hosting MIs could visit JSUs to discuss the Collaborative Research with Japanese professors. In JFY2007, 43 trips out of 54 possible trips were made; with 20% were trips by co-investigators from non-hosting MIs.

After the end of Phase I, 388 Japanese professors visited MIs through JPDP, with 247 of them having visited HIs and the others having visited non-hosting MIs. On the other hand, 212 academic staffs from MIs visited Japan, 179 of which were from HIs and 33 were from non-hosting MIs, as presented in Table 3.

Table 3: Japanese Professor Dispatch Program and Short-term Visit Program to Japan during JFY2003-2007

 

Short-Term Visit within Member Institutions

In an attempt to bring in more involvement from non-hosting MIs to the Collaborative Research and encourage active human network, the Short-term Visit Program within Member Institutions (SVMI) was first launched in JFY2004. The program provided financial support for the visit of academic staffs from non-hosting MIs to HIs for a maximum period of one month in order to conduct collaborative research activities, with annual quota of three per field.

Not many trips had been conducted under this Program in the first few years after launching; however, the number of the SVMI trips gradually increased year by year. Although it did not reach the maximum quota, there were in total 16 SVMI trips in JFY2006 as well as JFY2007, and the number of SVMI trips for the whole period of Phase I (JFY2004–2007) is 44. The top three fields that utilized this program the most are Civil Engineering hosted by CU, Geological Engineering hosted by UGM, and Chemical Engineering hosted by DLSU.

Table 4: Short-term Visit Program within Member Institutions in JFY2007

Table 5: Short-term Visit Program within Member Institutions during JFY2004-2007

 

Message from Faculty Staff

After completing master’s study at King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang (KMITL) in FY2003, I received a scholarship from AUN/SEED-Net again to furthur study there in the same field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) under Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program and I would graduate in May 2007.

My expectation of the Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program before studying was to obtain knowledge of new method on thesis research. However, the actual experience of the program was far beyond my expectation. I felt deeply grateful for my advisor, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kraisin Songwatana (KMITL), and co-advisor, Prof. Dr. Yoshikazu Miyanaga Hokkaido University), who dedicated themselves to support me throughout my study until it was completed successfully.

It was an invaluable chance for me to study both in Thailand and Japan. My research skill as well as experience was improved extensively through joint research and my view was opened wider. I recognized the larger demand of technology knowledge as well as the increasing usage of advanced technology in the region and beyond. Laos is on the similar track. Appropriate technologies that suit the country’s needs have to be researched and developed. As a result, engineers and researchers in relevant fields are in greater demand. University, a major institution for technology development as well as human resource development, has to respond dynamically to such needs. With my upgraded knowledge and research skill after completed my PhD study, I am utilizing them in my current work to produce research papers and qualified engineering graduates.

For the juniors studying in this program, the duration of the scholarship program is rather short so identification of the thesis topic is very important. My suggestion from my personal experience is that the research topic should be an extension or top-up of the master’s thesis. Besides, conducting research in group in the same field is very useful because it will allow idea or findings sharing as well as quick problem solution.

AUN/SEED-Net is a very useful project which greatly contributes to human resource development and university staff capacity enhancement. I wish to express my gratitude towards the project for giving me the opportunities to obtain higher degrees which enable me to contribute more to my university and country.

From Dr. Kham Khanthavivone, Doctoral Degree Sandwich graduate from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, now working as a lecturer of Electrical Engineering at National University of Laos

 

Field-Wise Seminar

The Field-wise Seminar Program (FWS) has been serving as a venue for academics and experts in the AUN/SEED-Net network with same research interests to meet, to learn the research trends and specialties at each member in order to set direction for research collaboration and other field-wise activities. Through this bi-annual FWS, each engineering community was successful in finalizing the collaborative research themes and topics, scheduling the future activities to enhance collaboration, and brainstorming on how to strengthen the network to be regional academic society.

Besides, the FWS also encourages the participation of AUN/SEED-Net students at HIs, in Singapore and Japan, as well as alumni in the same field as these people of new generation are the most important asset of the network and will be the key to sustainable collaboration and development of the region. In addition, although its original aim is to build up and strengthen the network among MIs and JSUs, the FWS also opens to academics from outside the network such as business sector, non-member universities, and government authorities so as to enhance and expand the collaboration.

Table 6: Field-wise Seminars in JFY2007

Some of the Field-wise Seminars were also organized in conjunction with other conferences in international level, so as to open the network itself to other academic societies. Some examples are the Field-wise Seminar in Information and Communication Technology field jointly organized with “The 48th anniversary on academic cooperation between JICA and KMITL” in Bangkok in November 2007, the Field-wise Seminar in Manufacturing Engineering field organized in conjunction with The 1st International Conference on Ergonomics Engineering” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in early December 2007, and the Field-wise Seminar in Geological Engineering field organized in conjunction with “The 5th International Symposium on Earth Resources and Geological Engineering Education” in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in mid December 2007.

There have been 84 AUN/SEED-Net FWSs organized during Phase I (JFY2003-2007). They were attended by over 1,500 participants from inside the network with AUN/SEED-Net support, the detail of which is as shown in Table 7. Including the seminars arranged during the Preparatory Stage (JFY2001-2002), there have already been in total 92 seminars organized by the AUN/SEED-Net Project.

Table 7: Field-wise Seminars during JFY2003-2007

 

Orientation and Monitoring

Usually, the orientation and monitoring activities were organized together in one event. New scholars would be informed of information on the project’s implementation and regulations as well as expectation and commitment from scholars in orientation session while on-going students would be interviewed in monitoring session.

In JFY2007, 10 trips were made; two for orientation only at CU and KMITL and eight at CU, DLSU, KMITL, ITB, UGM, UM, UP and USM for orientation and monitoring. For NTU and NUS, the event was conducted via teleconference. It was the first time that the project organized this teleconference-based orientation and monitoring with an aim to find a more effective mean in term of cost and time. With full support from and equipments of the two universities, the activities went smoothly. Considering the cost-and-time effectiveness of teleconference, the project would encourage all HIs, ideally, to utilize it in place of physical visits in the coming years. Nonetheless, for HIs which were not yet ready, traditional trips would be conducted. Besides the monitoring via visits or teleconference, another tool is the progress report by students.

The summary of monitoring information was described by each program, starting with Master’s program. The expected number of graduates in JFY2007 was 61 out of 63 scholars (two were terminated since FY2006 due to failure to meet study requirements). Five students requested for extension of scholarship; three graduated, one was on suspension and one was terminated after the extension period. As a result, 58 scholars of JFY2005-intake graduated; 55 were on-time graduates and three after extension. In addition, five were graduates after extension period from other fiscal years: three from 2004-intake, one from 2003-intake and one from 2001-intake. The number of Master’s graduates in each year of graduation is shown in the Chart 20.

Chart 20: Number of Master’s Graduates during JFY2003-2007 by Year of Graduation

The overview of the Master’s Degree scholars by year of intake since 2001 is shown in Chart 21. During seven years of implementation, 311 scholarships were granted and 189 scholars graduated. Among 189 Master’s graduates, 168 completed their study within scholarship period (89%), while 21 graduated after the extension period (11%). On average, 80% of Master’s scholars graduated within scholarship period. Unfortunately, 11 scholars were terminated, out of which three were terminated after extension period. Three students were put on suspension after extension as they failed to complete study within extension. The causes of termination and suspension were usually personal or health problems and weak academic background.

Chart 21: Status of Master’s Students during JFY2001-2007 by Year of Intake

In this fiscal year, the Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program produced 12 graduates. Two graduated within scholarship period (from JFY2004-intake) and the rest completed the study after extension period (four from JFY2003-intake and six from JFY2004-intake). Requests for extension of scholarships were made by 11 students in this fiscal year. While six completed the study in time as mentioned above, four were suspended and one student carried on the study in JFY2008. The suspension occurred due to the failure to fulfill publication requirement and/or complete thesis within the extension period. The status of students of this program by year of intake is shown in the chart 22.

Chart 22: Status of Doctoral Sandwich Students during JFY2003-2007 by Year of Intake

After celebrating the first batch of five graduates by JFY2006, the Doctoral Degree Program in Japan welcomed the second batch of eight new graduates in this fiscal year (one from JFY2003 and seven from JFY2004). Chart 23 shows that two scholars were put on suspension because they could not complete the study within scholarship period while there remained 40 on-going students under this program.

Chart 23: Status of Doctoral Degree in Japan Students during JFY2002-2007 by Year of Intake

Chart 24: Status of Doctoral Students as of JFY2007

Chart 24 illustrates 134 awardees under Doctoral Degree Programs between JFY 2002 and 2007: 56 to Doctoral Degree Program in Japan, 66 to Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program and 12 to Doctoral Degree Program in Singapore. The number of scholarships in the very first years of implementation was not fixed with a specific quota until in year 2004, the quota for Doctoral Degree Program in Japan was identified at 9 per year or one per field and later increased to 18 per year in JFY2007 (two per field). For the Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program, the exact quota was first determined in JFY2006 with 18 per year (two per field).

By JFY 2007, 25 doctoral scholars graduated; 12 from ASEAN and 13 from Japan. Among these graduates, three were AUN/SEED-Net Master’s graduates and all belonged to NUOL; two from Sandwich program (KMITL) and one from Japan program (Tokai University). Due to the graduating requirement of journal publication(s) for doctoral students, every year a number of students requested for extension of scholarships. However, to get a journal publication acceptance, it usually took quite long time and was hard to foresee the exact timeframe. Consequently, those who could not get an acceptance timely were later on put on suspension when the extension was over. As shown in Chart 25, eight scholars were “suspended” as they could not complete the graduating requirements within scholarship period (for Japan program) or extension period (for Sandwich program), unfortunately.

Classified by field of study, 16 doctoral graduates were from the field of CE, EEE, GeoE and ICT (four each), three from ME/AE, four from EnvE and MatE (two each) and two from ChE and ManuE (one each) as illustrated in Chart 25.  

Chart 25: Number of Doctoral Graduates as of JFY2007 by Field of Study

As a supplementary tool to monitor the scholars’ performance, the Secretariat requested scholars to report their publications in June and November 2007. The main purpose was to report the publications produced by AUN/SEED-Net scholars to Steering Committees as well as to monitor the scholars’ performance. The publication information exhibited here was based on the reports received from scholars only. By the end of JFY2007, 336 research papers were published. Among these, Master’s students produced 206 papers and the rest, 130, belonged to PhD students both in ASEAN countries and Japan. Over the past three years, JFY2005–2007, the number of publications has been increasing from first time of collection, especially those produced by doctoral students. One possible reason could be that the scholars were better aware about the collection of publication and more collaborative in term of report submission. 

Chart 26: Number of Publications Collected between JFY2005 and JFY2007

301 papers were published in proceedings both international (231) and national level (70) while 35 papers were journal publications among which 25 were international and 10 were national. These 35 journal papers were related to the scholars’ thesis research. Besides, there were 10 published journal papers which were beyond the scope of scholars’ thesis research. List of the journal publications is shown here.

If categorized by field of study, the publications in ManuE (23%) were highest in number, followed by MatE (21%) and ICT (18%). as depicted in the Chart 27. In addition to the published papers of 336, the publication reports from scholars also showed that around 80 papers were already accepted by journals or conferences and another 80 papers were presented and expected to be published later.

Chart 27: Publications by Field of Study

 

Alumni Network

The network of AUN/SEED-Net alumni has gradually been growing with the increasing number of graduates in each year. In JFY2007 the project had 83 new graduates from three programs, namely 63 from Master’s Program, 12 from Doctoral Degree Sandwich Program and 8 from Doctoral Degree Program in Japan. As a result, the total number of AUN/SEED-Net graduates reached 214, out of which 189 were Master’s graduates while the rest were doctoral graduates (12 & 13 from ASEAN & Japan, respectively). Around 39% of the Master’s graduate continued their study in a higher level. Among those, 82% was under AUN/SEED-Net supports and 18% under supports from other sources.

Chart 28: Number of Graduates during JFY2003-2007 by Sending Institution

Chart 29: Profession of AUN/SEED-Net Graduates

Profession-wise, 145 graduates got a job as faculty staff, 16 were hired in private sector, 14 were government staff, research institute staff and university employee and 39 were graduates to continue study as illustrated in Chart 29.

A channel to link the scholars together even after they graduated and returned home country is Yahoo!Group which is a group e-mail set up by student(s) at HIs. Students at each HI were invited to subscribe to their respective group through which they would be always connected to the scholars of different years studying at the same HI even after their graduation. The group e-mail was also used by AUN/SEED-Net as an effective means to communicate with students and alumni at the same HI. In this fiscal year, students at all 10 HIs have successfully created their own group e-mail and these groups had over 200 members. The links to these groups are enlisted on the website of AUN/SEED-Net.

Since JFY2006, the project started to provide financial support for alumni to participate in field-wise seminar and in this fiscal year, 16 alumni took this opportunity and joined the seminars. Chart 30 shows the number of alumni attending the seminar in each engineering field.

Chart 30: Number of Alumni Attending Field-wise Seminars in JFY2007 by Field

In this fiscal year, a pilot activity called “Open House” was organized as an alumni activity. It aimed to utilize direct experience of the alumni to promote AUN/SEED-Net scholarship programs as well as the study programs at Host Institutions. NUOL, as the Sending Institution having the highest number of alumni, was selected the place to organize this activity in November 2007. With full support from the university, the alumni and Host Institutions, the event was successful. Around 90 engineering students and 18 alumni at NUOL joined the event whereby the participants learned about AUN/SEED-Net Graduate Programs as well as direct experience about study and living in host countries from the alumni representatives.

With the aim to further strengthen the growing alumni network, the project planned to initiate more alumni activities in Phase II with the alumni who were serving their home institutions as the key target. Besides, more involvement as well as support from Member Institutions would be encouraged since they would be key players to achieve alumni activities in the future. 

 

Public Relations

JFY2007 was the first year for the Secretariat to arrange a press conference, in order to promote the recognition and impacts of AUN/SEED-Net on capacity building of the Member Institutions and the Member Countries.  The first press conference was organized after the 14th Steering Committee Meeting in January 2008, with participation of all stakeholders.  Apart from the presentation on AUN/SEED-Net overview and top universities hand in hand to tackle global issues, statements were also delivered by chairperson of the steering committee and representatives of the Member Institutions, JSUC, ASEAN University Network, and JICA Headquarters.

The Secretariat was invited to promote the Project at a few events.  King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang invited AUN/SEED-Net Executive Director to deliver a presentation on “Success of AUN/SEED-Net: A JICA’s Pride” at the Seminar on the 120th Anniversary of Thailand-Japan Relations in May 2007. In August 2007, the Secretariat was invited by Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT) to promote AUN/SEED-Net to Japanese and Thai students participating in the Japan-Asia Young Scientists and Engineer Study Visit (JAYSES), the event in celebration of the 120th Anniversary of Japan-Thailand Diplomatic Relations.

During the fiscal year the Secretariat published Minutes of the 13th Steering Committee Meeting and Year 2007 Annual Meeting as well as Minutes of the 14th Steering Committee Meeting, four quarterly newsletters, and this Annual Report 2007/08.  In addition, we distributed as many as six press releases to the stakeholders as well as regional media to publicize the network’s activities.  The Member Institutions, the Japanese Supporting Universities, and AUN/SEED-Net alumni as well as studying scholars also have cooperatively promoted AUN/SEED-Net to the public and prospective candidates.  For examples, a special article on AUN/SEED-Net Member Institutions’ attempt to tackle global issues was published in a famous Thai newspaper and an interview article of Prof. Dr. Boulinh Soysouvanh, Dean of Faculty of Engineering of National University of Laos, on AUN/SEED-Net field-wise seminar was publicized in a Lao English newspaper. From such joint promotions, there were 38 news related to AUN/SEED-Net exposed to the public in this fiscal year.

In JFY2007 the AUN/SEED-Net website was accessed for 28,344 times, the most ever since its launch in JFY2005 (see Chart 31), and the tendency seems to be higher and higher, which was a good sign in term of network sustainability.  The majority of the visitors were from Asia (87.2%), which could be identified into countries as shown in Chart 32. From the statistics, most accesses were made from host countries (Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore in descending order).  Outstandingly, Vietnam was the top sending country using the AUN/SEED-Net web site with the second highest percentage of 12.6%, which was even higher than most of the host countries.

Chart 31: Number of Accesses to AUN/SEED-Net Web Site during JFY2005-2007

Chart 32: Visitors to AUN/SEED-Net Web Site in Phase I by Country of Origin

Though most visitors directly accessed the web site from the URL (www.seed-net.org), many visitors made accesses via links from web sites of the Member Institutions, Japanese Supporting Universities as well as JICA while some came via search engines, e.g. Google and Yahoo.  This information clearly denotes the importance of the network stakeholders in joint promotion of AUN/SEED-Net recognition.

 

Final Evaluation of Phase I & Preliminary Survey for Phase II

The first phase of AUN/SEED-Net Project has started since 2003 after several years of ground working, and was scheduled to end in March 2008. In the course of project implementation, there have been widely shared understanding by the Governments and the relevant organizations/actors in the region:

(1)The AUN/SEED-Net has been and will be producing outstanding results and impacts, which signifies the relevance of its direction to the needs in the region as well as great potential of the AUN/SEED-Net;
(2) Longstanding commitment by the actors both in the region and Japan are of great importance so that the framework can be sustainable as an effective mechanism of human resource and research capacity development in engineering field of the region.

Subsequently the strong requests have come from Governments in the region, and all the MIs to the Government of Japan and JICA that the AUN/SEED-Net Project should be continued for another five years as “the Phase II” to further develop the sustainable framework for human resource development, built upon achievements of the first phase.  In response, in May 2007 JICA Headquarters dispatched a team of experts to evaluate tangible and intangible achievements of Phase I and to visualize a possible draft framework of the Project, with strong relevance to the national strategies of respective member countries and to the needs of MIs.

As a result of the final evaluation, it is concluded that the Project has proved its significant value and achievement, and that it is most appropriate to advance to the next phase of the Project based on the achievement up to the present, in order to further promote human resource development in engineering field which is indispensable for the sustainable socio-economic development of the ASEAN region.

The project objective: “Educational and research capacities of Member Institutions (MIs) are improved through the active exchange of resources among them and the collaborative relationship with Japanese Supporting University Consortium (JSUC).” is deemed mostly achieved by reason that their educational and research capacity have been enhanced by the Project, although the degree of attainment varies depending on MIs.  The Project has yielded four main outputs:

(1) Faculty qualifications are upgraded through acquisition of graduate degrees;
(2) Host graduate programs are enhanced;
(3) Joint activities and human linkage among the MIs are strengthened; and
(4) Information dissemination system, activity management system and communication network are established. 

Notwithstanding that the Project has mostly achieved its project objective and outputs, it is considered necessary to continue the support for the AUN/SEED-Net Project because there still remains substantial needs for Output (1) and (2), and challenges of sustainability for Output (3) and (4).

There are considerable necessity for human resource development (especially in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam) and necessity for establishment/strengthening of MI’s graduate schools (not only at HIs but also non-HIs), and also much room for improvement for sustainability in organizational/institutional and technical aspect of the Project framework and activities. By implementing the next phase of the Project, it is expected that AUN/SEED-Net will be further developed, based on the foundation built during the current phase, into a sustainable framework for human resource development in engineering field in ASEAN region, and will be able to ensure its larger effect and impact not only to MIs, but also to non-MIs, industries and communities, etc.

In addition, enhancement of recognition and reputation of AUN/SEED-Net is among the foremost challenges.  It is necessary to enhance the recognition and reputation of AUN/SEED-Net among related government (ASEAN countries and Japan), universities/research institutions, and industries, in order to enhance its sustainability and impact on society in the region. All of the stakeholders – MIs, governments of the member countries, AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat, and JICA – need to promote the significance and achievement of the Network in every appropriate occasion available.

Therefore, the next phase of AUN/SEED-Net shall be based on the foundation built during the first phase, and shall be further developed into a sustainable framework for human resource development, the impact of which should not be limited to the MIs, but also to braoder societies. By mobilizing knowledge and resources available and accumulated in the region and collaborating with Japanese universities for advanced and cutting-edged technologies, AUN/SEED-Net Phase II should enable the ASEAN region to develop manpower necessary for solving common problems in the region and continue to contribute to solidarity and unity of the ASEAN community expected to be realized by the year 2015.

From the Preliminary Survey, it has become very clear that the Phase II of the AUN/SEED-Net matches the needs of all MIs, as well as the policies of the governments of the member countries. The framework of the Phase II, which was drawn up based on the proposal prepared by the MIs, is also confirmed and agreed to by the MIs and their governments. For Phase II, the project objective is to establish a foundation of a sustainable framework of human resource development network in engineering field in ASEAN region, aiming at contributing to development of societies. However, the sustainability of the AUN/SEED-Net, as regional public goods, is largely dependent on MIs’ and their Governments’ pro-active participation and commitment, in financial/or non-financial form. The participation share, however, should not be rigidly applied to all member countries, but rather shall be determined in accordance with each member country’s situation and capacity.

After the Preliminary Survey for Phase II of the AUN/SEED-Net Project was completed by JICA team, the Project Design Matrix (PDM) for Phase II was formulated based on the survey results and the overall plan for Phase II.  The Minutes of the Final Evaluation and the Preliminary Survey were drafted and signed by JICA and the member countries later on.

 

Preparation for Phase II

The detailed plan for the second phase of the AUN/SEED-Net Project was finalized at the AUN/SEED-Net Coordinator Meeting and was endorsed at the 13th Steering Committee Meeting and Year 2007 Annual Meeting, held on August 9-10, 2007 at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

In the meantime, the network members were informed of the possible funding amount from the Japanese Government for the second phase and the need to seek other sources of funds to fully cover expanded activities of the network, if the second phase would be approved.

According to the proposal for the second phase of the AUN/SEED-Net, the project budget for the implementation of the Project was estimated at 37,863,020 US dollars.  Since major benefits of the Project would belong to the ASEAN region as a whole, the Japanese Government as the main supporter of the Project seriously considered active contributions from the network stakeholders, both financially and non-financially, as one of the main factors to continue the support for the AUN/SEED-Net Project. With positive responses about cost-sharing for Phase II from MIs since last fiscal year, the Secretariat tried to standardize the cost-sharing scheme, mainly for Graduate Programs, as follows:

  • As Host Institutions: Tuition waiving for AUN/SEED-Net master’s scholars
  • As Sending Institutions: Travel cost for AUN/SEED-Net scholars
  • For Singaporean Institutions: PhD scholarships for AUN/SEED-Net scholars (tuition and allowances) and subsidies for their staff interested to join AUN/SEED-Net supporting programs
  • For Brunei Institutions: Scholarships/subsidies for their staff interested to join AUN/SEED-Net programs

Confirmed cost-sharing scheme for Phase II implementation from the MIs is shown below.

In addition, the Secretariat gratefully accepted generous support from the Indonesian Government in term of tuition waiving for foreign students studying in ITB and UGM (see Indonesian Government Scholarships for details).  Benevolently, the Thai Government extended to the Project research support for collaborative research projects conducted at CU and KMITL, as well as for related academic activities arranged by all Thai MIs including BUU.

The Secretariat also submitted final proposals to the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Foundation to request partial support mainly for Collaborative Research Program and Regional Conference Program.  The ASEAN Foundation has played continuously a salient role in supporting AUN/SEED-Net, with some budget granted for research projects and international conferences in the preparatory stage of the Project. Affirming the significance of the engineering network strengthening which is one of the four main strategies in Phase II, the ASEAN Foundation has approved 778,734 US dollars to AUN/SEED-Net to fund regional conferences/workshops in the first two years of Phase II. The events are expected to involve more participants from broader communities including industry, community, non-MIs, and other professional organizations. As for the proposal to the ASEAN Secretariat, it already passed the Pre-Appraisal Committee review and now has been under consideration of the higher official level.

From the above committed and expected contributions, the project budget can be divided by funding sources into four portions: 61% supported by the Japanese Government, 19% committed by the member countries and/or the MIs, 2% funded by the ASEAN Foundation, and 18% to be requested from the ASEAN Secretariat and other counterparts, as shown in Chart 33.

Chart 33: Division of Project Budget by Funding Source

In mid JFY2007, official requests for the second phase of the AUN/SEED-Net Project were submitted to the Japanese Government by the member countries. Finally in late October 2007, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the JICA board members officially approved the support for the second phase of the AUN/SEED-Net Project for five years from March 11, 2008 onwards. Records of Discussions between the Japanese Government and the Governments of the Member Countries were signed consequently.

The concept and five-year strategic plan of Phase II were presented to the steering committee members at the 14th AUN/SEED-Net Steering Committee Meeting, which was held on January 18, 2008. The second phase of the Project is aimed at foundation of the sustainable human resource development network in engineering field, which contributes to development of societies, under the ownership of the ASEAN member countries. Expected outputs of Phase II include:

(1) Capacity enhancement of the MIs
(2) Collaborative research for industry and community
(3) Engineering network strengthening
(4) Establishment of Graduate School Consortium of Engineering among ASEAN-Japan

And to pave way for the second phase’s activities, the meeting agreed upon the amendment of the Cooperative Framework, the proposal on joint Memorandum of Understanding among the MIs, and the interdisciplinary research plan.

Through all attempts and contributions made jointly by the stakeholders, the AUN/SEED-Net Network eventually succeeded in securing the project continuation for five years until March 10, 2013. However, this cannot mean truly success for the network as long as the sustainability of the network has not been achieved. Thus, the second phase of the Project is rather the beginning of concerted efforts by the network members to pronounce the merits and to sustain the existence of this beneficial network for the sake of the ASEAN community.

 

Sustainability

JFY2007 is a remarkable year for the AUN/SEED-Net Project since the Project received substantial supports from the MIs, the governments of the member countries, as well as the industry sector. All supports were meant to sustain the Project and the established network for the second phase and beyond.

From the MIs, supports during scholarship extension period were extended to nine doctoral and three master’s students in terms of tuition waiving or allowance. NUS and NTU awarded four and five doctoral scholarships respectively under the Doctoral Degree Program in Singapore. NUS also upgraded one master’s student to doctoral level with provision of tuition fee and allowance support during the upgraded period. Details of all supports from MIs in JFY2007 are given in Table 8.

Table 8: Cost-sharing in JFY2007 by Member Institutions

With deep appreciation, the Secretariat received generous contribution from the governments of several member countries in JFY2007. The Government of Thailand through the Commission on Higher Education (CHE) continued granting scholarships for local students to further higher degrees at Thai HIs under the CHE Faculty Development Scholarship Program with Collaboration of AUN/SEED-Net (see details). The Government of Indonesia by the Department of Higher Education initiated the scholarship program for foreign students to study at ITB and UGM (see details). Plus, the Government of Brunei Darussalam through the Ministry of Education subsidized faculty staff from ITB-BRU and UBD to attend AUN/SEED-Net field-wise seminars.

Notably, the Project received generous support of one partial scholarship from the Electricity Generation Authorization of Thailand (EGAT), the major state enterprise in Thailand. The scholarship covered tuition fee, allowance, and travel expense for an AUN/SEED-Net master’s student studying in the field of EEE at CU. Realized by CU’s attempt, this support signifies a proactive move towards sustainability of AUN/SEED-Net initiated from the MI side. It is thus believed that the Network’s stability could be reached to greater extent through the MIs’ approach to the industrial sector for additional support and cooperation.

In addition, the AUN/SEED-Net Project has strengthened the relationship between the MIs, prompting many Memorandums of Understanding/Agreements (MOUs/MOAs) in the past years. As for JFY2007, seven MOUs were signed between the Departments of Electrical Engineering of CU and UGM; and between DLSU and six MIs consisting of UM, USM, HUT, HCMUT, ITC, and KMITL.

For long-term sustainability the Network aims to be established as the Graduate School Consortium of Engineering among ASEAN – Japan, with several clusters of MIs and JSUs specialized in specific engineering disciplines. For this purpose, Memorandum of Understanding among the 19 MIs would be drafted for signing at the 15th Steering Committee Meeting in 2008, in order to facilitate resource sharing and academic exchanges as well as joint research within the network.

CHE Faculty Development Scholarship Program in Engineering with Collaboration of AUN/SEED-Net

The Faculty Development Scholarship Program in Engineering authorised by the Commission on Higher Education of Thailand (CHE) has marked one of the Project’s active attempts to sustain the network. The Program aims to increase the number of high quality lecturers in Thai state universities and enhance the academic performance in engineering field. Tenable for four years from 2005, the Program seeks to grant a maximum of 24 doctoral scholarships per year allocated to three engineering fields, namely CE and EEE hosted by CU and ICT by KMITL. Classes for AUN/SEED-Net international students are also open for these successful applicants as well as laboratory facilities and equipment supplied by AUN/SEED-Net. In terms of research collaboration, the students are welcome to involve in AUN/SEED-Net Collaborative Research Program, of which Japanese professors at JSUs serve as research co-investigators and Thai professors at CU and KMITL as main investigators. The scholarship scheme also allows the students to conduct research at a university in Japan for not more than one year.

At the end of Phase I, the Program awarded totally 33 scholarships: 17 in CE, 8 in EE and 8 in ICT. A doctorate of engineering was recently conferred on one student in CE, who was ready to become a faculty staff at his sending university.

Indonesian Government Scholarship

Staff development plans of the MIs have reflected the institutions’ steadfast commitment to strengthen their educational competence and improvement of their staffs’ qualifications. With AUN/SEED-Net scholarships and its human resource development supporting programs alone, the learning opportunities provided may not be sufficient for the institutions especially in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam to have their plans realized timely.

In 2007, the Government of Indonesia through the Directorate General of Higher Education, Ministry of National Education has recognized the fact and decided to provide scholarships to faculty staff and faculty staff to-be from the MIs of AUN/SEED-Net to pursue master’s degree in the fields of ME/AE at ITB and GeoE at UGM. Fifteen scholarships will be half-shared and granted to successful applicants to those universities from the year 2007 for five consecutive academic years. The awardees will be studying in the same program as AUN/SEED-net students and supported with travel and university expenses, living and book allowances, health insurance and research fund. At an initial stage, seven students (five from ITC and two from HCMUT) were awarded to UGM in JFY2007.

Not only will this openhanded contribution facilitate the MIs’ plans, but they also determine a flourishing strong network to serve ASEAN community.
 

Other Activities

The National Staff Meeting 2007

The AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat arranged the second JICA National Staff Meeting on April 26,2007 at CU, Thailand, in order to enhance the understanding of the national staff on AUN/SEED-Net activities including those of the Project’s second phase, to share information and to discuss issues on current logistic matters for the Project, and to discuss how to organize and activate the alumni network and how to collaborate with other JICA projects in each ASEAN country. The meeting was participated by seven national staff from JICA overseas offices in the ASEAN countries (except staff from Lao PDR and the Philippines who had other engagements), with presence of Mr. TODA Takao from JICA Headquarters and Mr. SUZUKI Hirofumi from JICA Thailand Office. The meeting was informative and appreciable for all participants.

The 5th Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) Meeting

AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat and Commission on Higher Education (CHE) of Thailand arranged the 5th Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) Meeting on May 28, 2007 at CHE building, Bangkok. The meeting was joined by representatives of CHE, Thailand International Development Cooperation Agency (TICA), ASEAN University Network (AUN), Thai MIs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, JICA Evaluation Team, JICA Thailand Office, and AUN/SEED-Net.

Main agenda of the meeting were the final evaluation of Phase I and the plan of Phase II with request for cost-sharing from Thailand. In this regard, CHE confirmed its support of research fund to Thai advisors accepting AUN/SEED-Net students to conduct collaborative research projects at CU and KMITL; KMITL agreed to support tuition fees for foreign AUN/SEED-Net students; BUU committed to support travel expenses for BUU students studying in other ASEAN MIs.

This meeting is the last in Phase I and to be decided whether to continue in Phase II.

JSUC Meeting 2007

Prof. Dr. TSUTSUMI Kazuo, Chief Advisor, Dr. TSUNODA Manabu, Academic Advisor, and Mr. UMEMIYA Naoki, Program Coordinator of the AUN/SEED-Net Project joined the JSUC Meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on June 11, 2007. The meeting approved the appointment of Prof. OBI Shinnosuke from Keio University as the Vice Chairman of JSUC. It also reviewed and made some suggestions about the activity report of JFY2006, Final Evaluation, and Plan of Phase II e.g. involvement of non-JSUs, increase of field coordinating universities for each engineering field, collaboration with other funding agencies such as JSPS, and adjustment of Japanese Professor Dispatch Program to include more young professors and to lengthen visiting period if possible.

The Coordinator Meeting 2007

The AUN/SEED-Net Coordinator Meeting was initiated in 2007 in order to strengthen the management and coordination for AUN/SEED-Net activities at the MIs. The first meeting took place on August 9, 2007, at CU, Bangkok. In this meeting, coordinators from all MIs presented and shared their opinions on the implementation plan for interdisciplinary fields, the demands from CLMV countries in relation to fields of study, the alumni association, and the decentralization of the Secretariat’s functions.

In conclusion, the meeting agreed on the assignment of Main Facilitating Institutions (Main FIs) to take a leading role in facilitating the interdisciplinary field activities. More Facilitating Institutions (FIs) will be allocated to each interdisciplinary field based on interests and expertises; the activity implementation plan would be settled later among the FIs. New fields of study demanded by the CLMV countries would be covered by existing fundamental fields or interdisciplinary fields. The proposed ideas on the alumni association and the decentralization of the Secretariat’s functions were acknowledged by the meeting.

Steering Committee Meetings

Two AUN/SEED-Net steering committee meetings were organized successfully. The 13th Steering Committee Meeting and Year 2007 Annual Meeting was held on August 10, 2007, at Chulalongkorn University (CU), Bangkok. Apart from regular agenda like the progress report of the Project for JFY 2006, monitoring report of students, and main activity plan and tentative schedule of JFY 2007, highlights were the endorsement of the results of the Final Evaluation of Phase I and the Preliminary Survey for Phase II and the endorsement of the detailed plan of AUN/SEED-Net Phase II. The meeting was also informed of the possible funding amount from the Japanese Government for the Project Phase II, if approved, and the need to seek other sources of funds e.g. cost-sharing from the Member Institutions (MIs) and the Member Countries (MCs), external funding agencies, etc.

The 14th Steering Committee Meeting was arranged jointly by the Secretariat and CU on January 18, 2008 at CU campus, Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting agenda included the summary of Phase I activities and achievements, the report on student monitoring, the concept and five-year strategic plan of Phase II and tentative schedule for JFY2008, the amendment of the Cooperative Framework, the proposal on joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) among the MIs, the interdisciplinary research plan, and the comments from the steering committee on Phase I and Phase II. The meeting acknowledged all reports and agreed upon the amended Cooperative Framework as well as the joint MOU proposal. However, for the MOU, all MIs needed to review the contents and consult with the authorities concerned before signing at the next meeting. After the meeting, the press conference was organized for the first time to enhance the Project’s recognition. Public relations activities were also performed before and after the meeting.

The 22th AUN Board of Trustees Meeting

AUN/SEED-Net Executive Director Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sucharit Koontanakulvong, Program Coordinator Mr. UMEMIYA Naoki, Program Officers Ms. Rungchalai Punninda and Ms. Siriporn Settakanpitak participated in the ASEAN University Network (AUN) Board of Trustees Meeting, organized in Pattaya, Thailand, during 31 October – 3 November 2007. The meeting was attended by AUN board members who were presidents or rectors of AUN member universities in ASEAN. The meeting was divided into the board meeting and the workshop on AUN Strategic Direction towards 2015.

At the board meeting, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sucharit presented the progress update of the AUN/SEED-Net Project and its plan for Phase II. Being considered as a success story for AUN, the AUN/SEED-Net Phase II received strong support from the meeting. The ASEAN Secretariat agreed to follow up the status of the Proposal for Phase II submitted earlier by the Secretariat, and asked the Secretariat and JICA to push forward the proposal on Japanese side. As for the strategic direction with dialogue partners, the ASEAN Secretary General and AUN board members saw Japan as the most preferable partner and AUN/SEED-Net was one of the projects to be strongly supported both in-kind and in-cash.

Visits & Seminars

-- Participation in the Seminar on the 120th Anniversary of Thailand-Japan Relations --

On May 18, 2007, the then Executive Director Assoc. Prof. Krisada Visavateeranon participated in the Seminar on the 120th Anniversary of Thailand-Japan Relations, held by King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang. On this occasion, Assoc. Prof. Krisada Visavateeranon made a presentation on “Success of AUN/SEED-Net: A JICA’s Pride”.

-- Visit of JICA Vice President --

On May 24, 2007, the Secretariat received a courtesy visit of Mr. UEDA Yoshihisa, Vice President of JICA Headquarters. Mr. Ueda also took part in the AUN/SEED-Net final evaluation mission to Hanoi and Vientiane during his travel to monitor JICA projects in ASEAN countries.

-- Visit to Brunei Darussalam --

During July 10-12, 2007 the AUN/SEED-Net team consisting of Prof. TSUTSUMI Kazuo, Mr. UMEMIYA Naoki, and Ms. Rungchalai Punninda paid courtesy visits to MIs and Ministry of Education of Brunei Darussalam. Main objectives of the visits are to discuss the results of the final evaluation of the AUN/SEED-Net Project, to discuss the overall framework of the second phase, and to learn the situation and needs of the Brunei counterparts and discuss their roles in the second phase. The team met the management and faculty staff of ITB-BRU and UBD as well as high authorities of the Ministry of Education, all of whom supported the Project continuation and expressed eagerly their wills to participate more in the Project activities.

-- Participation in JAYSES --

On August 30, 2007, the Secretariat team consisting of Prof. Dr. TSUTSUMI Kazuo, Program Coordinator Mr. YAMADA Sakae, and Ms. Rungchalai Punninda welcomed 40 participants of the Japan-Asia Young Scientists and Engineer Study Visit (JAYSES), the event specially organized by Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT) to celebrate the 120th Anniversary of Japan-Thailand Diplomatic Relations. The participants who are students from TIT, CU, Sirindhorn International Institute of Technology, and Kasetsart University were briefed about AUN/SEED-Net background and activities.

-- Visit of ITC --

On October 18, 2007 the Secretariat received a visit of Mr. Moncef MEDDEB, Chief of French Cooperation Project from ITC. He was interested in building academic cooperation with AUN/SEED-Net and Thai universities in energy field. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sucharit Koontanakulvong briefed him about the plan of the AUN/SEED-Net Phase II and recommended the Energy Management Program at CU to him for further contact with CU faculty staff concerned.

-- Visit to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand --

On November 6, 2007 the Secretariat team consisting of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sucharit Koontanakulvong, Dr. TSUNODA Manabu, Mr. UMEMIYA Naoki, and Ms. Rungchalai Punninda paid a courtesy visit to the ASEAN Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand. The team met Mr. Chowarit Salitula, Director of ASEAN Division IV, and Ms. Nipatsorn, Second Secretary. Joining the visit were Ms. Aporn Kanvong, Director of International Cooperation Strategy Bureau, and Ms. Sunee Churaisin, Group Director, CHE, Ministry of Education of Thailand. The Secretariat emphasized the importance of ASEAN’s ownership of AUN/SEED-Net as well as the need for counterpart funds from the Member Countries, especially after Phase II. Also, the Secretariat requested the MFA support to Phase II at the ASEAN Summit in November 2007 and the 4th Socio-cultural Community (SOC-COM) Conference in January 2008, and the Senior Officials Meeting in Education (SOM-ED).

-- Visit of JISTEC --

On December 19, 2007 the Secretariat received a visit of Vice President Mr. IWASAKI Ken-ichi and Counselor Dr. SATO Akira of Japan International Science and Technology Exchange Center (JISTEC), who were visiting Thailand for their research project on "Development of Approach to Advance Accepting Foreign Researchers from Asian Countries for the Strategic Promotion of International Activities in Asia". The purpose of their visit was to learn about AUN/SEED-Net Project as an example of a project that supports interaction among researchers in ASEAN and Japan. The meeting was attended by Prof. Dr. TSUTSUMI Kazuo and Mr. UMEMIYA Naoki. Both parties agreed to keep exchanging information on new developments on each side for possible future collaboration.

-- JSPS Workshop --

Prof. Dr. TSUTSUMI Kazuo and Mr. UMEMIYA Naoki attended the Workshop on “International Collaboration for Formulation and Development of Science and Community in Southeast Asia: Strategy for Internationalization” held by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) at Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel on February 1-2, 2008. At the meeting, Prof. Dr. TSUTSUMI presented the overview and progress on AUN/SEED-Net Project to the audience from ASEAN government agencies in charge of science and technology and universities from ASEAN and Japan.

-- Reception of Visit --

On February 29, 2008 the Secretariat welcomed a group of 15 visitors from Okayama University who would like to learn about the AUN/SEED-Net Project. In this regard, Prof. Dr. TSUTSUMI Kazuo gave them the Project overview.

 

AUN/SEED-Net Masterworks

AUN/SEED-Net has a commitment to develop engineering human resources and research of high quality. Thus, we are always delighted to witness achievements of our students whose abilities and research papers have been accepted by several institutions. From the information collected by the end of JFY2007, we have so far 12 graduates/students who have received awards in national and international levels, and a number of scholars graduating with distinction. Following listed the names of AUN/SEED-Net graduates/students who obtained honorable awards:

Dr. Panarat Cherntanomwong, PhD graduate from TIT and now lecturer at KMITL, received the Student Paper Award at the 19th Asia-Pacific Microwave Conference 2007.

Dr. Nan Thidar Chit Swe, PhD graduate from CU and now lecturer at UY, got the Best Paper Award from the 30th Electrical Engineering Conference in 2007.

Dr. Le Trong Nghia, PhD graduate from CU and now lecturer at HCMUT, received the Excellent Presentation Award from KKCNN International Symposium in Civil Engineering.

Mr. Rinlee Butch M. Cervara from UP, master's graduate from USM and now PhD student at the University of Tokyo, received the Best Paper Award at the 2nd University of Tokyo, Seoul National University, and Tsinghua University Student Workshop in 2006 at Beijing, P.R. China.

Mr. Jay Arre Toque from UP, master's graduate from UM and now PhD student at Kyoto University, is a member of the team winning the Impressive Award for Enterprise on "Engineering for the Better World" from the 21st Century COE Program for Research and Education on Complex Functional Mechanical Systems in 2007.

Mr. Le Xuan Truong from HUT, now studying for doctoral degree at ITB, obtained the Best Paper Award from the 5th International Conference on Numerical Analysis in Engineering 2007.

Mr. Ly Hung Anh from HCMUT, PhD student at TIT and master's graduate from ITB, got the Best Presenter Award at the 5th International Conference on Numerical Analysis in Engineering 2007 (NAE2007) as well as the Outstanding Student Award 2007 from ITB.

Mr. Long Veasna from ITC, master’s graduate from UGM, was awarded the third prize for poster presentation at the 33rd Annual Convention of the Indonesian Association of Geologists in 2004.

Mr. Hul Seingheng from ITC, master's graduate from DLSU and now PhD student at UP, got the Outstanding Scientific Poster Award from the National Academy of Science and Technology in 2006.

Mr. Ha Hoang from HUT, master’s graduate from CU, won the fFirst prize in Control Design Contest for a Rotary Double Inverted Pendulum at the Society of Instrument and Control Engineers Conference 2007 (SICE2007) in Japan.

Mr. Nguyen Ich Vinh from HUT, master’s graduate from CU, got the Best Paper Award from Society of Instrument and Control Engineers Conference 2007 (SICE2007) in Japan.

Ms. Mary Donnabelle L. Balela from UP, master’s graduate from USM, won the Young Persons' World Lecture Competition (YPWLC) 2007 held by the Institute of Metarials, Minerals and Mining at NTU, Singapore.

 

Message from One of AUN/SEED-Net's Outstanding Graduates

October 26, 2004 was my first time to go abroad. I was so excited and worried about everything. Ms. Cho Cho Thet, the AUN/SEED-Net student from my country, picked me up at the Bangkok Airport. Fortunately, she was not only from my country but also we would study in the same laboratory - the Semiconductor Research Laboratory (SDRL) in the Department of Electrical Engineering, CU. I was the second foreign student in that lab but luckily all students were really friendly and treated me like a family.

Dr. Chanin Wissawinthanon was my advisor and I was his first PhD student, so he was very active and guided me with enthusiasm. He expected a lot from me in studies. He gave me many books to read and pushed me a lot to get results in my theoretical calculation and my experiments. We had 2-3 hours of discussions two times per week. Moreover, I had another co-advisor in CU. He was Prof. Somsak Panyakeow, the most experienced professor in my department. He was the person who firstly introduced to me the engineering from the technical point of view. I got not only a lot of knowledge in studies but also the art of teaching from him. He always taught me to love all difficulties and challenges of my research life and encouraged me to fight until I win.

Actually my first two years in CU was very tough with many coursework, English test, PhD qualifying exams, etc. So many stresses and exams pressured me a lot. Fortunately warm kindness from my international friends at my dormitory, my friends from my lab and encouragement from my teachers helped me to overcome all difficulties. Over the past three and a half years I had been driving myself to learn a lot in studies and life. I learned a great deal about engineering, nanotechnology and about myself; I gained a lot of experience for my research life. I could not have got here I am today without the collaboration, support, and patience of a great number of people.

For all of these I should say thanks to AUN/SEED-Net for financial support, kind help and warm heart to me and all students. Thanks to my advisors and all of my teachers for disseminating of knowledge to me and widening of my horizon. Many thanks are here to my friends for your help, kind encouragement and support, discussion and friendship, and vivid memory for my stay in Arakawa lab and SDRL. Because of all of you, my days in Tokyo and Bangkok became more colorful. Now I am working as UY’s faculty member. I cordially invite you all to visit my country, exchange our culture and share our knowledge.

From Dr. Nan Thidar Chit Swe, PhD graduate from CU and now lecturer at UY, receiving the Best Paper Award from the 30th Electrical Engineering Conference in 2007.

Message from One of AUN/SEED-Net's Outstanding Students

In 2005, I was very happy when I got AUN/SEED-Net Scholarship for Master’s Degree in ITB, Indonesia. This university is equipped with facilities, particularly in my lab – Light-weight Structures Laboratory – which is under management of Dr. Ichsan Setya Putra (Head of Laboratory) and two other lecturers, Dr. Tatacipta Dirgantara and Dr. Djarot Wigdagdo. There is one library in the lab and another in department with enough books for all course work of students. Computers for students in the lab are fast enough to run common commercial finite element software. I took the lab as my second living place in Bandung.

The most important person for students studying abroad is their professors who are also their partners during the research period. In my point of view, ITB professors, particularly those in my lab, are so kind. They were willing to help me and make clear my confusion, or even became my fellows to pull me out of the mess. They did not push me to work too much but to work wisely. It was proved by the way they gave me lecture and asked me to present research progress every week, instead of compelling my face to be shown in the lab every day.

Again, it was really a kind of dream to come true when I got AUN/SEED-Net Scholarship for Doctoral Degree in TIT, Japan from 2008 until 2011. Currently I am a PhD student under supervision of Professor Inoue Hirotsugu in Mechanical and Control Department. It cannot be denied that Tokyo Tech is a very good university for me to do PhD research. Especially, Professor Inoue takes care for me very well not only in research work but also in daily life. He supports all that I need for my research and actually becomes my partner in this work. Even though his schedule is very busy but he is always willing to discuss or give me advice anytime if I need. I think he is too kind to be expected more.

After finishing this PhD research, I hope to be a lecturer of an AUN/SEED-Net member institution in order to transfer knowledge and experiences that I had from ITB and TIT to students. Furthermore, as a JICA participant, I expect to strengthen the network among member institutions, host institutions, and Japanese supporting universities by collaborative researches or conferences.

From Mr. Ly Hung Anh, PhD student at TIT and master's graduate from ITB, sent by HCMUT, who won the Best Presenter Award at the 5th International Conference on Numerical Analysis in Engineering 2007 as well as the Outstanding Student Award 2007 from ITB.