AUN-HPN Conducts Its First IAC Meeting Since COVID-19

By Phasawit Jutatungcharoen, Programme Officer
23 Novemeber 2020

The 6th AUN-HPN International Advisory Committee Meeting (IAC) was conducted on November 5th, hosted by Mahidol University and Osaka University via video conference. It was the first function from AUN-HPN since the COVID-19 lockdown, as the meeting aims at affirming close cooperation among member universities and to hear the updates on health promotion activities from those respective institutions.

Over ten AUN-HPN member universities from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Japan shared updates about their health promotion activities. Each university discussed various initiatives and activities conducted around 2020, some of which were collaborative efforts with municipalities and community organizations. Many of the activities were focused on promoting health within the campus, such as awareness programs, curricular promotion, drug/smoke/alcohol free areas, mental health programs, and data collection strategies, among other developments.

The AUN-HPN Secretariat proceeded with the next part of the meeting, presenting their secretariat organizational chart as well as announcing their relocation to a new office. The Secretariat presented their action plan, including Capacity Building in 2017-2019, Health Promotion Research, leadership roles in health promotion at the faculty and student level, as well as developments in monitoring and evaluating health based on the Healthy University Framework. Research collaboration between institutions was also discussed, including post-Covid action plans, measurement instruments, and online evidence-based platforms.

AUN-HPN also introduced their Healthy University Rating System (HURS), a new benchmark for institutions to measure their progress in effective health promotion in all departments and areas. HURS is expected to be announced before the end of 2020 to all AUN-HPN members, who are invited to join a trial version to be conducted throughout early to mid-2021. Various concerns and suggestions were made regarding HURS in the meeting from the IAC members.

Other updates were made in the meeting, including the announcement of the 13th Asia Pacific Conference on Tobacco or Health 2021 (APACT2021) and the 7th International Advisory Committee (IAC) Meeting in mid-2021 at Mahidol University (Salaya), which is expected to occur on-site if possible. New associate members were also announced, including the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies (Philippines) and Mahasarakhram University (Thailand), joining the existing six current associate members.

Near the end of the meeting, AUN Executive Director Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti invited AUN-HPN to contribute to the AUN’s share of the ASEAN Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai, which will be held from October 2021 to March 2022. As one of the key thematic networks of the AUN, contributions from AUN-HPN will play a significant role as part of the AUN’s presentation.