Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources
Launched in 1989, the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources, or the University Consortium (UC) for short, 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, Canada, Germany, and Japan.
The founding members of the UC are Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) and Universitas Gadja Mada (UGM) both in Indonesia, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and Kasetsart University (KU) in Thailand.
Tokyo University of Agriculture in Japan is an associate member, while the University of British Columbia in Canada, Georg-August University of Goettingen in Germany, and Universitas Brawijaya (UB) in Indonesia serve as affiliate 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.
The UC provides the following grants to students and faculty members to support their studies or research.
- Faculty Travel Grant for Conference/Seminar, Research, and Visiting Professor Program for Teaching Purposes
- Student Travel Grant
- Student Thesis Grant
- Tokyo NODAI-UC Scholarships for Dissertation Doctorate Program
The UC also conducts the following activities annually: (1) the UC Summer School, (2) the UC Graduate Forum, and (3) the UC Executive Board Meeting.
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.
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.
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.
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 http://searca.org/ucweb/projects/food-and-nutrition-security
In 2017, the UC received funding from the European Commission's ERASMUS+ Capacity Building for Higher Education to establish the Master of Science in Food Security and Climate Change. For more information, visit www.msfscc.org.
At the 30th Executive Board Meeting, it was agreed that UPM will host the 2018 Summer School, while UB will host the Graduate Forum, and UGM will host the 31st Executive Board Meeting.