27 January 2023

ASEAN Universities Shared Health Promotion Progress and Success Stories at the 7th AUN-HPN International Advisory Committee Meeting

Ninnart Ratanasukhon
AUN Programme Officer;

On 19th January 2023, the 7th AUN-HPN International Advisory Committee Meeting was held at Grand Richmond Hotel, Nonthaburi, Thailand, with a warm welcome from Mahidol University. The conference welcomed representatives from member universities across ASEAN who came to share their approaches and progress to health promotion under the theme “Mental Health and Well-being of ASEAN Universities during the post-Covid-19 period: Awareness and Actions.” The conference also recounted the footsteps and progress of the Healthy University Rating System (HURS), now in its 2nd version, with more universities participating and succeeding. The meeting was wrapped up with the introduction of the co-host for the 8th AUN-HPN International Advisory Committee Meeting in 2025.

The conference was declared open by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chuthamanee Suthisisang, Vice President of Mahidol University. She also extended her warm welcome to representatives from Khon Khaen University, the most recent associate member of the AUN-HPN who joined in July 2022. The committee then proceeded to recap progress made at the 6th AUN-HPN International Advisory Committee Meeting on 5th November 2020 and its activities in recent years, including the fruitful collaboration with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. The work plan for the year 2023 was also introduced at the event, with the launching of the steering committee in April, the strengthening of the Thai Universities Network - Health Promotion Network (TUN-HPN), and further workshops for HURS lining up.

The committee then welcomed Prof. Dr. Chartchalerm Isarankura-Na-Ayudhya, Chairman of the Committee on HURS Development and Dean of the Faculty of Medical Technology at Mahidol University. Launched in 2021, HURS is a systematic evaluation conceived at the 5th International Advisory Committee Meeting to monitor and evaluate the progress of health promotion practice at member institutions. In this meeting, Dr. Chartchalerm recounted the steps of HURS from its conception to its current progress.

With the 2nd version launched in August 2022, HURS saw ten more universities participating, with three universities achieving the highest score of ‘five stars’ for the first time. The three universities included

  • Universitas Indonesia,
  • Universitas Gadjah Mada, and
  • Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Dr. Chartchalerm congratulated the three universities for their success and invited interested universities to join the 2023 version of HURS.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chuthamanee Suthisisang declared the meeting open.


Prof. Dr. Chartchalerm Isarankura-Na-Ayudhya recounted the footsteps and progress of Healthy University Rating System (HURS) to the committee.

Progress and success stories were shared in the afternoon session as member universities presented health promotion campaigns implemented on their campuses. Many showed holistic approaches that encompass physical, mental, social, and environmental wellness as endorsed by the AUN Healthy University Framework. Many also went beyond their campuses and offered services to communities around them. Some campaigns highlighted by the members included:

Burapha University, Thailand - BUU Counselling Center, a psychological service hub that offers a wide range of services, from counseling to hosting workshops and online courses on various aspects of mental well-being for students. Burapha University also serves the communities around them via projects such as the community-based comprehensive elderly care project carried out in collaboration with Saku University, Japan. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Burapha University also introduced a platform to provide quarantined patients with remote consultation, mental health support, and a referral system for critically-ill patients. The platform is now employed in several hospitals across Thailand.

Chiang Mai University, Thailand - Healthy CMU is an all-encompassing health campaign by Chiang Mai University that promotes healthy lifestyles via various means, for example, community health volunteers, CMU Health MOOC, and CMU Health Talk. Chiang Mai University also introduced applications to help students and faculties assess their health risks, monitor their health indicators, and even control their diet.

Chulalongkorn University, Thailand - Students and faculties of Chulalongkorn University can access psychological services via the Center for Psychological Wellness and Chula Student Wellness, operated by the Faculty of Psychology. Chulalongkorn University also supported United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 14 and 15, Life Below Water and Life on Land, via its CU Centenary Park unveiled in 2017. CU Centenary Park now serves as a green retreat for students and personnel from Chulalongkorn University, along with people from communities in the surrounding areas.

Mahidol University, Thailand - Mahidol University successfully engaged its students in health-promoting campaigns through the creation of ‘community role models.’ These students would act as leaders by inviting and supporting their peers to join various health promotion workshops and training provided by the university. To ensure a healthy work life for their faculties, the Institute of Innovative Learning at Mahidol University held a training on online teaching for faculties in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as classes needed to be online.

Prince of Songkla University, Thailand - Prince of Songkla University provides medical insurance to all personnel working under PSU, including both full-time and part-time staff and their families. Members of communities could also receive vaccine services, free of charge, at Prince of Songkla University Hospital. 

Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia - Medical check-ups, sports facilities, and cultural clubs are available to all academic members of Universitas Airlangga. The university also provided psychological and academic counseling services for students, including those with learning difficulties.

Universitas Indonesia, Indonesia - Universitas Indonesia aimed to be a healthy, disaster-prepared, green sustainable campus. The university not only ensures access to green open spaces for its students but also supports holistic well-being for its faculties and students through spot facilities, annual medical check-ups, vaccination centres, and various events and clubs for healthy social interaction.

University of Malaya, Malaysia - University of Malaya provides all new students with medical check-ups. Medical services are also available to all students at the university’s health clinic. Regular medical check-ups are provided to all staff of the University of Malaya as well.

The University of the Philippines, the Philippines - Faculties and students of the University of the Philippines have been providing medical and social-cultural services to communities via its Ugnayan ng Pahinungod campaign. Their medical operation hub, the Philippines General Hospital, also provides services such as child protection and poison control and management apart from general medical services.

Vietnam National University-Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - VNU-Ho Chi Minh provides mental healthcare for its residential students via the Dormitory Mental Healthcare Program. They also work on disseminating knowledge and raising awareness on various aspects of mental wellness through their many seminars. The university introduced a specific program to provide mental support for students during the COVID-19 pandemic called ‘Vaccine for the Soul’ as well.

All members stand firm on zero-tolerance areas and have introduced varieties of measures to counter and prevent such actions. Zero-tolerance areas laid out by AUN-HPN Healthy University Framework included: smoking, alcohol consumption, illicit drug use, gambling, violence, bullying, sexual harassment, and road safety violations. Every member also ensured that their campuses and infrastructure are environmentally friendly and conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Accessible clean water, campus-wide shuttle services, designated pedestrian walkways, and waste management systems are widely supported and implemented by all members.

The meeting concluded with the announcement of the co-host for the 8th AUN-HPN International Advisory Committee Meeting, which would be Osaka University, Japan. Osaka University is one of the associate members of AUN-HPN and has participated in the International Advisory Committee Meeting since 2018. Delegates from Osaka University actively participated and shared their stories at this conference as well.


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Wanicha Pungchompoo, Head of ‘Healthy CMU Project’ from Chiang Mai University, engaged in a conversation with the committee.\


Dr. Agustin Kusumayati, M.D., representative from Universitas Indonesia, addressed the committee.


Prof. Ken Nakata from Osaka University offered his views in a conversation with the committee.