TheProSPER.Net Board Meeting and General Assembly on 11 July, 2016, at the United Nations Headquarters in Tokyo, were held back to back with ProSPER.Net’s ‘Forum on Higher Education and the SDGs’. The Forum highlighted that education is at the centre of it all, and that higher education in particular can be a mechanism to implement different Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s meetings had the special focus on strengthening and expanding the network.
During the meetings, the ProSPER.Net community welcomed three new members to the network, namely Institut Technologi Bandung (ITB), Indonesia, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia (UPI), and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), bringing the total number of ProSPER.Net members to 37.
At the same time, Keio University and Vietnam National University (VNU) – HCMC replaced Hosei University and University of the South Pacific as Members of the Board. Prof. Norichika Kanie from Keio University was elected as Board Chair for a term of two years, replacing Prof. Yuji Suzuki from Hosei University. Prof. Sivanappan Kumar from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) was appointed as Vice Chair. ProSPER.Net and all its members thanked Prof. Suzuki for his long-standing commitment to the network and his strong initiative throughout his term as Board Chair for ProSPER.Net. Prof. Suzuki and Prof. Tony Dalton, Vice Chair of the Board since 2014, were both valuable members of the Board and they will hopefully remain active in ProSPER.Net over the coming years.
During the follow-up discussions, the members highlighted several crucial points of engagement. All members agreed to have student exchange programmes across the network. This could include the joint supervision of postgraduate research. ProSPER.Net will prepare a concept note to better facilitate the exchange between universities of the network.
In terms of engaging beyond the network communications should be emphasized to showcase ProSPER.Net’s activities such as the Young Researchers’ School and the Leadership Programme as well as it’s projects. The network is hoping to engage more students via its facebook page and providing capacity development opportunities through the individual universities. The members were hopeful that more information on individual programmes and opportunities would be shared and publicized.