Last month I had an opportunity to participate in the International Dean’s Course Southeast Asia 2012/2013 on June 16-30, 2012(as I described last two days here in my blog). It was such an interesting conference because I could broaden my perspectives and creating my network of working among ASEAN university members. It was my second time to Germany after I had the chance to visit this country in 2008 with my beloved teacher, Associate Prof. Arin Sa-Idi. Both trips were subsidized by the German government through German embassy in Bangkok. I have learnt several aspects of faculty administration. I will gradually summarize some relevant topics to remind myself and to share with all of you here. However, today I will share one of the modules that I took from the conference. As you may see from the PowerPoint above that I made a link, I will elaborate on Indonesian Higher Education conducted by Dr. Supra and Dr. Intan from Indonesia. Both of them were our speakers, mentors, and facilitators for the whole two weeks of conference.
Fist of all, let me give you some ideas of the key objective of the course. It is to bring together a group of about 30 deans, vice-deans, and heads of departments – many of them alumni of DAAD and Humboldt Foundation – from universities of the Southeast Asian region and to prepare them for the challenges of holding an administrative position in a changing higher education landscape. Issues such as faculty management, higher education governance, financial management, change management, quality assurance and leadership will be key parts of this course. A soft skills workshop and an exchange with German university leaders about higher education reforms will be included in the programme as well.
From the PowerPoint linked above, you may see that Indonesian government has invested lots of budget to develop higher education for Indonesians. Because the number of Indonesians is relatively higher than Thais, about 200 millions. There are over 3,000 higher institutions in Indonesia, while Thailand has less than 200, I believe. We can see in recent years, the government allocate budget and pushes the universities to work even harder than they did in the past. This is a global trends. Before this I was confused why Thai government or the Ministry of Education pushes our faculty members to do research, academic services, quality assurance and many others. When I attended this conference I could see that the whole world is walking to the same directions. We can’t deny this movement.
One of the highlight slides is slide number 9. I like it because it shows the roles of higher education nowadays. There are four roles as it appears in the slide.
-Development of human capital: This is the primary and classic goal for university to train human resources through teaching and learning either in classroom or online. Every university in this world does this mission.
– Development based on knowledge and culture: In the previous time, research might be important but could be secondary. In this changing world now, universities have to play a role in producing research based the expertise of faculty members and resources. We can’t deny that a university faculty member need to do research which is one of important job description. We can’t only teach, but we need to inquire new knowledge through conducting research.
-Dissemination of knowledge and culture: Once the research is done, it should be disseminated to the public. I think the public is waiting some answers from the university to answer in terms of academic perspectives through publications. Research could be the most empirical evidences to finding answers. If we do research and keep the findings on the shelves, it would be useless for the public to know and to get further practices.
-Application of science and technology: University could not stand alone in the society without any connections with the public or society. Academic services by contacting to the industry and society are also one of the important missions. Students will not only learn or study from their teachers in the square classroom. They should have a direct experience from the ground so that they can imply their knowledge with the on-going society.