ASEAN Virtual University of S&T a real prospect

20 June 2001 The ASEAN Secretariat and its Member Countries are currently examining a project for an ASEAN Virtual University of Science and Technology.

The project is the brainchild of a working group set up jointly by the UNESCO Jakarta Office and ASEAN Secretariat. Made up also of regional professional non-governmental organizations (NGOs), regional science networks, the Asian Institute of Technology and leading universities in ASEAN countries, the working group has thus far met three times with sponsorship from the UNESCO Jakarta Office: Manila (Philippines) August 1999; Bangkok (Thailand) January 2000; and Bali (Indonesia) August 2000.

In the field of engineering, the project aims to develop information technology-based engineering courseware through the joint efforts of leading ASEAN universities.

In science, the project will design continuing education courses for science teachers in information technology and specialized science subjects.

Under consideration is a regional virtual science teaching resource centre that would offer course material and courseware, in addition to making accessible to students not only on-line journals and conference proceedings, but even virtual experts.

The virtual university would not be complete without virtual conferences and seminars, and virtual joint research and development among participating universities.

There are even provisions for the electronic publication of periodical journals and newsletters, and the creation of a digital library network.