17 March 2022

10th IRO+3 Meeting concludes with strong push for more connectivity and student involvement within the network

Buranond Kijwatanachai
AUN Programme Officer;

Key Takeaways:

  • How to have even more effective, clearer lines of communication and student-centric activities were the main focus of the meeting.
  • Due to pandemic conditions, the 10th ASEAN+3 Heads of International Relations Meeting (IRO+3 Meeting) was redesigned to be a series of meetings comprising 4 “Working Groups in preparation for the IRO+3 Meeting” that culminated with a final meeting that presented the findings from the groups.

The 10th ASEAN+3 Heads of International Relations Meeting (IRO+3 Meeting) was a series of meetings comprising 4 “Working Groups in preparation for the 10th ASEAN+3  Heads of International Relations Offices (IRO+3 Meeting)” that each discussed a specific aspect of ASEAN University Network (AUN) activities to compile a set of recommendations and suggestions for how the network can thrive in the post-pandemic world. These groups discussed AUN Youth Flagship Activities, Double Degree Programmes, Mobility Programmes, and AUN Policy Platform Activities. These Working Groups met between November and December 2021. 

This was then followed by a meeting comprising the representatives from the International Relations Offices of the AUN and ASEAN+3 University Network. This meeting took place on 24 February 2022. 

The Meeting deliberated on the recommendations put forth by the Working Groups that will be put into action by the ASEAN University Network Secretariat for upcoming programmes from 2022 onwards. 

One of the biggest challenges shared by ASEAN+3 University Network Member Universities is having effective cultural exchange when activities are held virtually. The suggestion put forth to overcome this challenge is to place greater emphasis on student-centric designs and utilizing student and alumni networks.

Communication was also a key concern for universities. Because the pandemic has encouraged more digital communication than ever before, the AUN Secretariat will have to play an even greater role in facilitating communication between universities within the network. 

Also present was Dr. Sufian Jusoh, Director, Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Convenor of the AUN-AEC Thematic Network, who was there to present an introduction to Global ASEAN. GlobalASEAN is an E-learning platform from the joint collaboration between IKMAS UKM & APCED Asia SDN BHD and AUN-AEC Thematic Network. Many universities present in the meeting expressed strong interest in the project.