The ASEAN University Network - ASEAN Credit Transfer System (AUN-ACTS) is a thematic network that manages the ASEAN Credit Transfer System (ACTS), a student-centered system that assists student mobility among AUN Member Universities. It was initiated by AUN with the primary objective of facilitating student and academic mobility in the ASEAN region under the AUN Student Exchange Program. ACTS offers a non-complicated grade conversion framework designed to accommodate differences in the implementation of credit systems among the member universities without any requirement to modify the existing institutional or national credit system. The AUN-ACTS Secretariat continues to be hosted by Universitas Indonesia since 2010.
The ACTS was first proposed at the AUN Quality Assurance Meeting in December 2008 at Universitas Indonesia. In the first formal meeting at De La Salle University in 2009, the AUN-ACTS Secretariat and the ACTS Steering Committee members were appointed. The system was finally unveiled for the first time during the 2nd ACTS Steering Committee Meeting in Vietnam in 2010. Since then, ACTS has been continuously developing to accommodate students and ASEAN Member Universities in their mission to strengthen student mobility in the region.
The mechanism of ACTS was established to reduce the barriers for student and academic mobility. As such, the goals and objectives of AUN-ACTS are to:
AUN-ACTS is well known for its Student Exchange and Study Abroad Programmes between and among AUN Member Universities. The programmes offer different opportunities for all students of AUN Member Universities to study at any of the 30 AUN Member Universities for one or two semesters. Five full scholarships are offered each year by each AUN Member University for their student who has been selected by the university to participate in the programme.
AUN-ACTS also offers scholarships of different international programs through its framework such as the ASEAN Foundation (AF) - Kyoto University (KU) Scholarship Programme.
AUN-ACTS is also involved in the SHARE (European Union Support to Higher Education in the ASEAN) Scholarship program. These programs aim to promote greater awareness of ASEAN and greater interaction among its peoples and their increased participation in ASEAN activities, as well as undertaking development cooperation activities that enhance mutual assistance, address equitable economic development, and reduce poverty.
The institutionalization of AUN-ACTS and SHARE AECTS has been ongoing since November 2019, aiming at integration to establish a single pan-ASEAN Credit Transfer System. After an observation period, the final report of SHARE AECTS Compatibility Needs Assessment will be launched at the end of 2020, covering the compatibility of SHARE AECTS and AUN-ACTS, followed by recommendations on the governance, technical, and operational approaches for scaling and sustainability strategies.
Since the introduction of the ACTS mechanism in December 2008, AUN-ACTS has been continuing to accommodate students and universities in the mission to build and foster better relationships and connections among students in ASEAN and beyond. Moving forward, AUN-ACTS envisions the system to be used for student mobility among AUN member universities and Japanese partner universities under the “Re-Inventing Japan Project”. AUN-ACTS hopes to continue to expand and cater to more students, opening a whole new world of possibilities in the region and building the ASEAN spirit in the region.
In our next article, we will look at AUN-HRE, the thematic network determined to educate and promote human rights in universities all over ASEAN.