19th ASEA-UNINET Plenary Meeting

From Feb. 26 to March 1, the 19th ASEA-UNINET Plenary Meeting took place at the University Sains Malaysia (USM) in Penang, Malaysia. ASEA-UNINET Plenary Meetings have been taken place approximately every 1.5 years since the network was founded in 1994, interrupted only by the COVID pandemic.

Representatives from numerous ASEA-UNINET member universities in Europe and Southeast Asia as well as from universities seeking membership and from several ASEAN ministries, the OeAD – Austrian Agency for Education and Internationalisation and the Austrian-Malaysian Society took part. The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Austria to Malaysia held honorary remarks, as did the Vice Chancellor of USM. Virtual greetings were extended by the Austrian Minister of Education, Science and Research.

The member countries within the network presented activity reports from institutional activities within the last 1,5 years. These reports testify to how active the network is across the borders of countries and even continents, showcasing active bilateral and multilateral cooperations.

The discussions at the meeting focused on alumni, digital humanism, performing arts, funding opportunities, strategies for expansion and the role of cooperations between the Global North and Global South.

Three universities – Walailak University (Thailand), Vidyasirimedhi Institute of Science and Technology (Thailand) and Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology (Vietnam) – applied to join the network and were welcomed as candidate members. The Mae Fah Luang University (Thailand) rose to the rank of a full member within ASEA-UNINET.

The 4 winners of the Bernd Rode Award 2024 were also honored during the meeting. This award, named after the founder of ASEA-UNINET, Prof. Bernd Michael Rode, has been awarded every 1.5 years since 2016.

As with every Plenary Meeting, the national coordinators and the executives of the network were elected. The presidency, as is customary, moved again from Southeast Asia to Europe with Prof. Roberto Ranzi from the University of Brescia (UNIBS) appointed as president – warm congratulations for a fruitful term!

The official minutes of the Plenary Meeting may be accessed here.