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

Background

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) 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, Japan, and Taiwan.

Members

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.

Objectives

  • 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
  • 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: (1) the UC Summer School, (2) the UC Graduate Forum, (3) the UC Faculty Forum and (4) 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 https://uc.searca.org/projects/food-and-nutrition-security

Updates

In 2019, the European Commission's ERASMUS+ Capacity Building for Higher Education project on the Master of Science in Food Security and Climate Change successfully ended with the proposed joint curriculum currently undergoing approval in the UC member universities with target offering on AY 2020-2021. For more information, visit www.msfscc.org.

During the 32nd Executive Board Meeting, it was agreed that Universitas Brawijaya will host the 2020 Summer School, Universitas Gadjah Mada will host the 6th UC Graduate Forum, National Taiwan University will host the 2nd Faculty Forum, and Kasetsart University will host the 33rd Executive Board Meeting.