27 October 2022

Japan-ASEAN Online Program Toward SDGs, opening up the new era of multilateral collaboration by Okayama University, SUN/SixERS, and AUN

Benyasiri Eimviriyapong
AUN Programme Officer;

The Japan-ASEAN online program toward UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) jointly organized by Okayama University, the Six Universities Network/International Education and Research System, Japan (SUNSixERS), and ASEAN University Network (AUN) held from 11 - 14 October 2022, successfully gathered over 70 participants from all across the ASEAN region and Japan. The intensive academic program focused on raising awareness and tackling the issues of depopulation and rural development faced by the people of Okayama Prefecture in Japan with the insightful perspectives and critical solutions from student research from sixteen universities. 

The multilateral, cross-border platform of AUN and SUN/SixERS, a consortium of six Japanese national universities, provides the unique opportunity for students to become both educators and learners themselves. The knowledge transmission and the internalization of acquired knowledge from students across different fields, expertise, and lived experiences of their region is truly the manifestation of interdisciplinary education in action.

Through professional lectures, data collection, well-backed analysis, and solution finding, the online program towards SDGs is an ideal university type of learning method: problem-based, teamwork, and multidisciplinary design. Students from different universities, in particular Ateneo de Manila University, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and Singapore Management University, provided excellent solutions to depopulation issues, including ensuring quality health care services, facilities, and increasing accessibility for social security for the citizens.

The success of the event is wholly attributed to the good learning design and the cross-border platform that allow for such interaction among students and educators from different countries, backgrounds, educational expertise, and world views. 

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These good practices lead to the continuation of social networking and knowledge transmission while providing the opportunities for these students to learn and grow to become more contributing citizens that the world critically needs.