The First Focus Group Meeting on the “AUN/SEED-Net Transitional Plan” was held virtually on November 9, 2021. The half-day forum was attended by almost a hundred participants, including the executives of AUN as well as AUN/SEED-Net member universities, AUN Secretariat, and AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat.
The event was arranged as part of the transitional plan following the discontinuation of AUN/SEED-Net in March 2023. As an attempt to leverage the longstanding network to enhance its contribution to community development, JICA, AUN, and AUN/SEED-Net mutually agreed on a common vision for the vital integration of Humanities and Engineering education into today’s environment. Consequently, the brainstorming session focused primarily on turning the incorporation of the two subjects into practice.
The event started with an introduction to AUN/SEED-Net achievements over the past 20 years. AUN/SEED-Net Secretariat then shared the potential direction of AUN/SEED-Net and proposed a new project chapter for AUN and its members to embrace. The highlight of the day was the session in which participants exchanged ideas and opinions.
It was concluded during the meeting that the integration of the two studies was essential for educational upgrading. Many universities had experiences in conducting such interdisciplinary classes, with the subjects clustered around the common areas such as Community Development, Disaster and Risk Management, Environment and Energy Management, and SDGs.
In addition, the participants considered grants for collaborative research, financial support for mobility and exchange programs, internships, and scholarships as effective tools to provide a strong foundation for the collaboration between Humanities and Engineering. Capacity-building workshops and technical conferences were also suggested as platforms for promoting interconnection and networking. Last but not least, it was suggested that a think tank group be formed, comprising resources from both studies to concretely drive these ideas toward implementation.
The meeting proved to be extremely fruitful. AUN/SEED-Net is grateful to everyone who made the event so successful. Further updates will follow when the transitional plan has been formally endorsed.