ASEAN universities group pushes for stronger cross-border collaborations

Choltis Dhirathiti, executive director of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations University Network, delivers his opening address during the 8th UST-Model ASEAN Meeting.

THE COVID-19 pandemic has helped realize technology-enhanced educational provisions in Southeast Asia, but cross-border collaborations must be emphasized to achieve recovery, an official of a regional university network said. 

Choltis Dhirathiti, executive director of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) University Network, said cooperation among the member countries of the regional bloc should be strengthened to maintain the positive changes in the education sector amid what he called the “emerging deglobalization.”

“Invest and innovate a collaboration at the regional level, but also extended to the international level within the current context of the very worrying geopolitical situations,” Dhirathiti said during the 8th UST-Model ASEAN Meeting (MAM) held this month. 

Dhirathiti also urged the delegates to sustain their attempts to get together through cross-bordering and to continue improving collaboration through available platforms. 

UST-MAM is a conference organized by the Asian Studies Society that aims to promote awareness of ASEAN and show its relevance to the community.

Hout Mengthu, who represented Cambodia and who presided as the ASEAN chair, said the purpose of the summit is to seek a common ground of understanding and to create a common solution for the emerging problems in the region.

“During the past three days, we had a fruitful and comprehensive discussion on mechanism in effectively dealing with the COVID-19, especially the ASEAN comprehensive recovery plan and the implementation of the framework,” Mengthu said.

“We are seeking and searching for all ASEAN member states to join collaboratively in addressing these challenges comprehensively and effectively,” he added.

Over 140 participants represented the 10 ASEAN member countries composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

UST-MAM 2022 was held virtually with a theme “One ASEAN, One Health: Overcoming COVID-19 Adversities through Regional Cooperation and Development.” F – A. N. Apostol

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