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Proceedings » pro7

6th Plenary Meeting of ASEA-Uninet, Trento/Italy, 16-18 July 2002



      • Introductory statements

      • Presentation of New Member Universities

    • II. Workshop on Cooperation Policy between Europe and South-East Asia

      • First Session: The European Perspective

      • Second Session: The Asian Perspective

    • III. Round Table: Building up a Common Cooperation Perspective in Research and Education

    • IV: Focus Groups

      • Group 1: Agriculture and Biotechnology

      • Group 2: Science and Technology

      • Group 3: Economics & Business, Tourism, Social Sciences and Humanities, Human Rights

    • V. Final Session

      • Actions to be Undertaken by the Network

      • Election for International ASEA-Uninet Chairmanships

      • Final Words


The 6th Plenary Meeting was held in Trento and hosted by the University of Trento, a member University of ASEA-UNINET.

Introductory Statements

Prof. Zandonini, Chairman of ASEA-Uninet in 2001/2002 and local organizer, introduced the Rector of the University of Trento, Prof. Egidi, who welcomed the participants. Mr. Lauro Leveighi, Councellor of Research of the Autonomous Province of Trento, stressed the importance of internationalization to Trento.
After that the presentation of the activities of the Network by the European Coordinator, Prof. Rode, and by the Asian Coordinator, Prof. Kusmayanto, took place.

Presentation of New University Members

  • Thammasat University by Rector Assoc. Prof. Dr. Naris Chaiyasoot
  • Naresuna University by Asst. Prof. Dr. Neti Waranuch
  • University of Freiburg by Prof. Rode
  • Technical University of Milan by Prof. Dr. Giancarlo Spinelli
  • University of Groningen by Drs. Madeleine C. Gardeur
  • Dublin Institute of Technology by Dominic Dillane
The plenary meeting decided to accept all applying institutions as full members of ASEA UNINET, effective from the day of the decision.
Dr. Klaus Haupt of the European Commission gave a detailed description of the Asia Link and AUNP project lines of the European Commission. The details of the programmes can be viewed here.

II. Workshop on Cooperation Policy between Europe and South-East Asia

First Session: The European Perspective

  • Dr. Sigurd Höllinger, Director General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Austria
  • Dr. Klaus Haupt, Europe Aid Cooperation Office of the European Commission, Task Manager for Higher Education and Culture Cooperation with Asia
  • Mr. Knud Larsen, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science, Technology and Development, Denmark
  • Mr. Renzo Rosso, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy
Mr. Rosso gave general diplomatic remarks about the relations of Italy and Asian countries and stressed the importance of the internationalization of the university system in an era of globalization.
Mr. Larsen gave an introduction to the Danish university system, which is influenced both by the German as well as the Anglo-Saxon system. He also talked about the importance of bottom-up incentives in the European/Asian relationship and the high priority of internationalization in general.
Dr. Höllinger thanked the organizers for the widespread participation and support. He talked about the European higher education area, educational globalisation, Austria's contribution to European integration in higher education and international cooperation and the Austrian university reform.
Dr. Haupt gave a PowerPoint presentation, which will be made available as soon as possible.

Second Session: The Asian Perspective

  • Prof. Voradej Chandarasorn, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of University Affairs, Thailand
  • Dr. Freddy Numberi, Indonesian Ambassador to Italy, Indonesia
  • Dr. Ester A. Garcia, Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education, Philippines
  • Assoc. Prof. Sauwakon Ratanawijitrasin, Deputy Executive Director of the AUN Secretariat, ASEAN Co-Director of the AUNP's Programme Management in Bangkok, Thailand
Prof. Voradej Chandarasorn
emphasized the importance of university graduates' employability for the Thai economy. He welcomed international cooperation for mutual benefit and expressed strong support for ASEA-Uninet.
Dr. Numberi:
After the Asian economic crisis, remarkable progress took place in CES cooperations. Indonesia is working hard to bring on human rights. Economic performance so far has been very good. The number of cooperations between Indonesian universities with universities all over the world is increasing, and there is growing interest of Italian students to go to Indonesia.
Dr. Garcia:
The Commission on Higher Education, which was established in 1994, is responsible for public and private higher education. Of the 1453 existing institutions, 80 percent are situated in the private sector. There are laws for public higher education institutions which regulate networking, memoranda, agreements etc. Preference is given to higher level graduation institutions. Currently, the Philippines have student and staff exchange programmes with ten European countries, and 80 worldwide, mostly with African and Asian universities. Most of these exchanges are in the field of business administration and economics, only some engineering, e.g. general agriculture, water resource management, geology of the islands, ecology. We also have programmes to introduce the Philippine culture and history to European students. Of most importance is the removal of barriers for mutual benefits, namely the language barrier for Asian students in Europe. Europe is the centre of learning, and the Philippines have to ensure an ongoing promotion for internationalization in education for the future.

Prof. Sauwakon Rananawijitrasin:
Presentation of an 18-minute video: imbalance in number of universities in Asian countries, isolation is a thing of the past, focus on mutual interest and benefit, the history of AUNP, ASEAN-EU relationship.

III. Round Table: Building up a Common Cooperation Perspective in Research and Education

Prof. Zandonini asks the participants to exchange ideas about the possibility in a less structured network if it is more flexible than more structured ones and what the experiences of the persons involved are.
Mr. Larsen: A few years ago China created a database such as the European CORDIS database. A functioning network needs information in order to maximally utilize internationalization.
Dr. Rosso: It is difficult to design specific ideas, and I find it useful to remind you a little bit what framework means. We have three clusters, namely the political, the economic and the cultural/social cluster, of which the latter one has been underutilized so far.
Prof. Rode: I would kindly like to ask the two representatives of politics: universities have to adapt themselves to economic needs and markets. Nowadays, rectors have to act like managers, business men become prime ministers etc. However, market-thinking alone is not sufficient. There is an urgent need to include future-oriented thinking of research and education, which does not pay off in short terms, but asks for a coalition of resources to promote long-term progress. This forum is a good means to form an international think tank. The problem of digital divide exists in the ASEAN countries. I recommend to policy makers using our more than 20 years of experience in international networking.
Prof. Eko Budihardjo: Some politicians are more concerned on the next elections. They do not recognise the problems mentioned by Prof. Rode.
Dr. Garcia: 20 years ago we started collaborations with Japan and Australia. The colleagues abroad influenced the national government; bottom-up has been using top-down. There are ways of our leaders to listen to you. AUNP and ASEA-Uninet are important means in convincing politicians.
Prof. Zandonini asks Dr. Haupt, to which extent the European Commission (EC) is giving space to bottom-up approaches.
Dr. Haupt: The European Commission grants a very large range of activities for a framework. Universities are asked to fill it with their ideas. The EC will make use of the experience of what Prof. Rode said.
Prof. Kappel: How much bottom-up approach was there when the Asia Link programme was created?
Prof. Bolhar-Nordenkampf: To fill the framework is a waste of time. Constrictions are dangerous. We live in a proper but not innovative world. Personal contact and feedback is of utter importance. Innovation cannot be evaluated. ASEA UNINET must not change.
Dr. Haupt: I welcome your positive feedback. There have been systematic possibilities studies to design the Asia Link programme. Numerous specialists were consulted, also in Asian countries. There will be stakeholder meetings in the future for feedback and input.
Prof. Rode: I would like to give you a short summary of the EU programme's history. The first ASEAN initiatives started in the mid-nineties. Big conferences were held in Kuala Lumpur, Rome, and Brussels. I was asked by Ana Gonzalez how ASEA-Uninet works, and one, two years later she reproduced these guidelines for Asia Link, which seemed to be much more flexible than INTAS or INCO DC. Recently, Dr. Haupt has improved the relations between ASEA-Uninet and the European Commission to a great extent, but only the results of the coming years will prove the real cooperation spirit.

Focus Groups


Group I


1. Topics:
  • Innovative methods of production/processing (including biotech)
  • Food safety (pesticide residues, heavy metals, mycotoxines, nitrate)
  • Food quality (quality enhancements, e.g. protein, vitamin A, TE)
  • Socio-economic dimensions (trade barriers)
2. Activities
  • Human Resource Development:
    • Training (short-term)
    • Education (split p. g.)
  • Curriculum Development
  • Research (incl. monitoring/assessment)
There are plans to use Asia Link and AUNP to prepare a project for EU funding.
Thailand is willing to take the lead in South-East Asia, Austria in Europe. Both countries welcome co-operation.

Group II


Seven Sub-Focus Areas:
  1. Applied Mathematics: University of Graz, Gadjah Mada University, Institute of Technology Bandung, University of the Philippines Dilliman, Suranaree University
    Scientific Computing: Institute of Technology Surabaya, University of Trento, Kvanke
    Contact Person: Prof. Franz Kappel, University of Graz, Austria
  2. Computational Chemistry: University of Innsbruck, University of Barcelona, Institute of Technology Surabaya, Prince of Songkla University, Institute of Technology Bandung, Hanoi Univ. of Technology, Khon Kaen University, King Mongkut's Institute of Technology Ladkrabang North Bangkok, Vietnam National University/Ho Chi Minh City, Suranaree University
    Contact Person: Prof. Bernd-Michael Rode, University of Innsbruck, Austria
  3. Information and Communication Technology: Technical University of Vienna, University of Linz, Institute of Technology Bandung, Institute of Technology Surabaya, University of the Philippines Dilliman, Groningen University, University of Trento
    Sub-Focus: ICDL and Power Line Communication
    Contact Person: Prof. A Min Tjoa, Technical University of Vienna, Austria
  4. High Energy Physics: Suranaree, Groningen University, Institute of Technology Bandung, Vietnam National University/Ho Chi Minh City, University of the Philippines Dilliman, Institute of Technology Surabaya
    Contact Person: Prof. Arjuna Chaiyasena, Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand
  5. Monitoring and Control of Structure and Infrastructure (which include environment): University of Trento, Prince of Songkla University, Institute of Technology Bandung, Institute of Technology Surabaya
    Contact Person: Prof. Riccardo Zandonini, University of Trento, Italy
  6. Hydrology and Waste Water Management: Technical University of Graz, University of Innsbruck, Institute of Technology Bandung, Institute of Technology Surabaya, Vietnam National University/Ho Chi Minh City, Prince of Songkla University
    Contact Person: Prof. Harald Kainz, Technical University of Graz, Austria
  7. Transportation and Tunnelling Engineering: Technical University of Graz, University of Innsbruck, Institute of Technology Bandung, Institute of Technology Surabaya, Prince of Songkla University, Hanoi University of Technology, University of Indonesia
    Contact Person: Prof. Gernot Beer, Technical University of Graz, Austria
There are many ongoing projects. Research is concentrated on tropical diseases. Asian partner universities include Mahidol, Chulalongkorn and Gadjah Mada. A student programme for undergratuate medical students to Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam for the duration of one or two months is well established, also graduate medial training in Asia. An enhancement of these programmes to other EU countries as via Asia Link is planned.
Public Health:
There is a full master programme, Master of Public Health, annually held at Innsbruck University, and short term courses are jointly held in Yogyakarta, at Gadjah Mada University.
Cooperation with all partner countries except the Philippines. Research areas: Mycotoxine, fibre chemistry and fibre pharmacy.
It was also added that the European side has much interest in traditional medicine such as Chinese and herbal medicine.

Group III


Intensive Asian study programmes are held regularly in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, organized by the University of Innsbruck in cooperation with ASEA UNINET partner universities (duration 1 month each). W'ith the help of Asia Link, these programmes should be made available to all European ASEA UNINET partner universities.
During the meeting, several focus areas for research were identified, namely:
    1. International Trade/Economics
      • Free Trade versus Protectionism ("Fortress Europe")
      • Globalization versus Regionalism
      • ECO-Dumping e.g. child labour, cheap production costs
    2. International Debt Management
    3. Cross-Cultural Management
    4. Health Economics (health policy; public health; management aspects)
    1. Tourism Management
    2. Tourism Demand
    3. Marketing (new strategies and instruments, e.g. e-commerce)
    4. Tourism Information Systems
    5. Tourism Impact Studies
      • Environment
      • Culture
      • Social
    1. Social Impacts of Globalization
      • Poverty Studies
      • International Migration
      • Gender Issues
      • Dependence
      • Social Dumping
    2. Cross-Cultural Aspects
      • Communication
      • Information
    3. Psychological Issues
      • Minorities
The Group identified four projects for Asia Link:
  1. Conflict Resolution: Social and Cultural Aspects
    Coordinator: Chiang Mai University
    Potential partners: Oviedo, Mahidol, EHESS/Paris, NEU/Hanoi
  2. Asian Study Programmes:
    Coordinators: University of Innsbruck and University of Trento
    Potential partners: Utrecht, Chulalongkorn, Chiang Mai, University of Indonesia, Gadja Mada, University of the Philippines, Hanoi University of Technology, NEU/Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
  3. International and Cross-Cultural Management Programmes
    Coordinator: University of Economics and Business Administration, Vienna
    Potential Partners: Chulalongkorn, Chiang Mai, Thammasat, Prince of Songkla, Gadja Mada, Hanoi University of Technology, NEU/Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City
  4. Development of a Curriculum in Psychological Studies
    Coordinator: University of Oviedo, Spain
    Potential Partners: Phnom Penh, NEU/Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Toulouse, Montpelliere

V. Final Session


Actions to be Undertaken by the Network

All accepted Asia Link and AUNP projects are to be posted in the ASEA-Uninet Notice Board.

Election for International ASEA-Uninet Chairmanships

Election of Asea-Uninet Chairman:

  • Dr. Kusmayanto Kadiman, Institute of Technology Bandung

Election of European National Coordinators:

  • Netherlands: Utrecht University

  • Spain: University of Oviedo

  • Italy: University of Trento

  • Austria: University of Innsbruck

  • France: Université Robert Schuman, Strasbourg

  • Denmark: University of Southern Denmark

  • Sweden: Jönköping International Business School

  • Finland: Tampere Polytechnic Business School

  • Germany: University of Freiburg

  • Ireland: Dublin Institute of Technology

  • United Kingdom: Middlesex University

  • Greece: University of Ioannina

        • Election of Asian National Coordinators:

  • Vietnam: Hanoi Institute of Technology

  • Philippines: University of the Philippines

  • Indonesia: Gadjah Mada University

  • Thailand: Prince of Songkla University


Election of Regional Coordinators:

Election of the Regional Coordinator for Asia:

Prasert Chitapong, Prince of Songkla University

Election of the Regional Coordinators for Europe:

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c.mult. B. M. Rode, University of Innsbruck

Vice Coordinator: Drs. Marrik W. Bellen, Utrecht University


Final Words

The next Plenary Meeting will be held in February 2004. Thanks were expressed to Prof. Zandonini and Marcella Orru for hosting and organizing this Plenary Meeting, as well as ASEA UNINET as a network of friends and source of motivation, Mrs. Ostermann for her ongoing flow of continuity and information.