University Consortium pushes for more collaborations and linkages
The Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) held its 29th Executive Board Meeting on 9-10 November 2016 at the SEARCA Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines. Updates to the UC's various programs including the various grants, the Summer School, the Graduate Forum, the collaborative researches on the Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia (FANSSEA), the recently approved ERASMUS+ funded project on the establishment of the Master of Science in Food Security and Climate Change (MS FSCC), the application of University of Brawijaya to be a member of the UC, and the possible collaborations between the UC and the French institute AGREENIUM were discussed during the meeting.
Seventeen participants from the UC member organizations (Institut Pertanian Bogor and Universitas Gadjah Mada, both from Indonesia; Universiti Putra Malaysia from Malaysia; University of the Philippines Los Baños from the Philippines; Kasetsart Unversity from Thailand; Tokyo University of Agriculture from Japan, and SEARCA) attended the meeting. Also present were three other resource persons from SEARCA, six representatives from the University of Brawijaya of Indonesia, and two representatives from AGREENIUM.
Part of the agenda of the board meeting was presentation of the FANSSEA portal under the Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia. Dr. Maria Celeste H. Cadiz, Head of SEARCA's Knowledge Management Department, and Dr. Mariliza V. Ticsay, Head of Knowledge Resources Unit, solicited views and suggestions for the proposed website and invited the University Consortium members to consider linking the portal to their own websites for a more consolidated information system.
The UC was founded in 1989 to link the top agricultural universities in the region to facilitate free exchange of information, facilities and expertise. (Jarah N. De Guzman)