4 January 2023

Special AUN-QA Feature: The AUN Executive Director Announces Line-up for 2023 at the 311th AUN-QA PA at Ton Duc Thang University

Patitin Lertnaikiat
AUN Programme Officer;

The 311th AUN-QA Programme Assessment at Ton Duc Thang University (TDTU) was conducted on 20 - 22 December, and was one of the last assessments conducted before concluding the year of 2022 and the 4th time AUN-QA has had the opportunity to assess TDTU. Ton Duc Thang University is a public university established on September 24, 1997 with a vision to develop humanity towards a world of peace and happiness by continuously recruiting and training human resources to become professional, devoted, qualified, and responsible lecturers and staff. TDTU was ranked one of the top 800 universities in the world (by ARWU) and Times Higher Education has ranked TDTU as one of the top 500 Universities of the world in 2023. More details of this assessment can be found in our previous AUN-QA Overview.

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As this was one of the last AUN-QA assessments of 2022, the AUN Executive Director, Dr. Choltis Dhirathiti, took this opportunity to look back at the developments in 2022 and announce the plan ahead for AUN in 2023. Dr. Choltis stated that there are several factors that set up the current state of higher education in the world and our region today. One factor is the environment of work nowadays demands particular skill sets from graduates which require communication skills, intercultural skills, and many more skills that demands a rethinking of how general education is organized for students, including lifelong learning. Another factor is the rising focus on interdisciplinary research and teaching, also called cross disciplinary research and teaching, making it impossible nowadays to work alone in a single academic field. 

In regards to classrooms, the COVID-19 pandemic was a major catalyst in the evolution towards a hybrid mode with teachers as the facilitator or curator of the students’ learnings. Dr. Choltis also expressed that it is unimaginable to see a university without a private company on campus, a university without an internship programme within the business sector, or a university with low amounts of industry engagement related to a study programme. These are the elements that are necessary in facilitating the development of the required skill sets for students in the current working world.

Dr. Choltis continued with sharing his enthusiasm towards 2023, which will be an exciting year for AUN that is laid out with plenty of big impact projects for ASEAN higher education. Here are major projects and events to look out for:

  • The CALOHEA Project, hosted by the Tuning Academy at Groningen University, the Netherlands, will have dissemination workshops in many ASEAN countries. The project will be about improving a university’s qualification framework according to the European standard, how to calculate student workload, and how to assess learning outcomes in 3 subject specific areas: teacher-education, civil engineering, and medicine.
  • A project hosted by Prince of Songkla University, Thailand, that will focus on university capabilities in data and information management, both at the level at the center of the university ICT management and also at the level of data management and data submission.
  • A master class workshop in data management and data submission, organized by the AUN which came from a discussion with Times Higher Education in London and Melbourne.
  • A capacity building project for university English language units or centers, hosted by the AUN Secretariat and co-hosted by NEAS, the English language teaching accreditation center in Australia.
  • AUN-QA International Conference in September that will be hosted by the AUN Secretariat in Bangkok with many speakers from around the world to share experiences and practices from their own region.
  • The AUN-QA Internal Quality Assurance Design and Development, hosted by the AUN Secretariat together with MOET Viet Nam and contributions of Viet Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City, with the aim to redesign and redevelop the IQA system that is suitable for the educational environment in Viet Nam.

2023 will indeed be an exciting year for AUN and ASEAN higher education as the wheels once again start turning in full motion after the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and shifting up another gear with plenty of high impact projects lined up throughout the year.

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