Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources


http://uc.searca.orghttp://uc.searca.orgLaunched in 1989, the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources, or the University Consortium (UC), is a commitment made among five leading Southeast Asian higher education institutions to share academic expertise and resources.

Initiated by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), the University Consortium was seen as a viable approach to pursuing agricultural human resource development in Southeast Asia by linking top agricultural universities in the region to facilitate free exchange of information, facilities, and expertise.

Today, the University Consortium is an effective network linking strong universities in Southeast Asia, Japan, Taiwan, Canada, and Germany.


The founding members of the UC are Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) and Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) both in Indonesia, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and Kasetsart University (KU) in Thailand. In 2019, Universitas Brawijaya (UB) from Indonesia was accepted as a regular member.

Tokyo University of Agriculture in Japan and National Taiwan University are associate members, while the University of British Columbia in Canada and Georg-August University of Goettingen in Germany serve as affiliate members.

Maejo University in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Central Luzon State University and Visayas State University in the Philippines, are granted affiliate member status on January 2021 while Central Mindanao University in the Philippines started its affiliate membership in 2022. All four universities are subject to a three-year evaluation period before admission as regular members.


  • Provide highly trained personnel in agriculture, environment, and natural resources for the development of the Southeast Asian region;
  • Promote mutually beneficial cooperation among UC members by optimizing the utilization of scarce resources and expertise; and
  • Develop strong and dynamic linkages among UC members through collaborative research projects as well as faculty and student exchange programs.

Key Features

The UC provides the following grants to students and faculty members to support their studies or research.

  • Faculty/Student Travel Grant for Conference/Seminar
  • Faculty/Student Travel Grant for Research
  • Young Researcher Grant
  • Visiting Lecturer Program for Teaching Purposes
  • Seed Fund for Collaborative Research
  • Student Travel Grant for Credit Program
  • Student Travel Grant for Participation in Seminars/Workshop
  • Student Thesis Grant for Support for Thesis Production
  • Student Thesis Grant for Support for Research Activities / Publication Fees
  • Matching Grant for Mobility
  • Tokyo NODAI-UC Scholarships for Dissertation Doctorate Program

The UC also conducts the following activities annually: UC Summer School, UC Graduate Forum, UC Faculty Forum and UC Executive Board Meeting.

  1. The Summer School is a credit-earning course conducted for two weeks to one month. It is designed to enhance the understanding of students and other professionals in rural studies, agriculture, and natural resource management on the importance of the interdisciplinary approach in tackling the issue of food and nutrition security in Southeast Asia for sustainable development.
  2. The Graduate Forum aims to provide an opportunity for graduate students from UC members to share new knowledge, research ideas, and experiences in an open platform.
  3. The Faculty Forum creates an avenue for faculty members from the UC to develop camaraderie, encourage transdisciplinary studies, and promote greater integration of research through strategic partnerships for collaboration.
  4. The Executive Board Meeting gathers UC Executive Officers and Coordinators from the UC members to discuss updates regarding the consortium and plan the activities for the succeeding year.

In addition to these activities, the MS in Food Security and Climate Change (MS FSCC) program will also be implemented under UC’s projects starting 2020. From 2016-2019, the project to develop the MS FSCC curriculum was initiated by the UC members and funded by the European Commission's ERASMUS+ Capacity Building for Higher Education. It aims to develop professionals who will address the challenges of food security in the context of the ASEAN integrated market.

The UC also engages in collaborative researches under the Umbrella Program on Food and Nutrition Security for Southeast Asia. Further information about the umbrella program and the specific projects may be viewed at


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