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

Bogor, Indonesia—Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) played host to the 20th University Consortium Executive Officers and Coordinators Meeting on 5-7 November 2007.  Hosting of the annual meeting of the Executive Board of the Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC) is rotated among its member institutions.

The meeting focused on the need to generate funds for the UC and enhance resource mobilization efforts.  The expert services of a consultant on fund generation were tapped to assist the UC in this aspect. Ms. Marianne G. Quebral, Executive Director of Venture for Fund Raising based in the Philippines, was invited to present some fund raising strategies and recommendations for the UC to consider. In her presentation, Ms. Quebral pointed out the following communication needs of the UC: 1) the need to communicate the niche of the UC and its successes; and 2) the need for more visibility and to raise funds. To address these needs, the following strategies were recommended: 1) emphasize the long-term existence and track record of the UC; 2) emphasize the impact of UC activities on individuals, institutions, countries, and the region as well as the prestige of being a grantee of the UC; 3) put across a message to the grantees to improve the value of their credentials by helping improve on the reputation of the UC; and 4) market the UC experts.  She then presented some fund raising strategies and challenged the UC to decide and focus on any of the following:  1) endowment; 2) earned income; 3) donations from individuals; 4) grants; and 5) membership fees. 

In order for the UC to move to the direction it wants to take, the UC Executive Board decided to set up a UC Steering Committee to make decisions on the activities that the UC must undertake and implement in the future.  The Committee is composed of a representative each of the immediate past host, the present host, and the future host of the UC meetings, and the UC Secretariat. The Committee shall communicate to all UC members/associate members the line-up of activities that shall be pursued in the succeeding years. 

The University of Queensland will be the host of the 21st UC meeting.

Participants of the meeting were Dr. H. Ahmad Ansori Mattjik,Rector, Dr. Khairil Anwar Notodiputro, Dean of Graduate School,Dr. Drajat Martianto, ViceDean, Graduate School, and Dr. Ma’mun Sarma, Director for International Programs, all fromInstitut Pertanian Bogor, Indonesia; Dr. Masyhuri, Chairman, Master of Agribusiness Management Program, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia; Dr. Aini Ideris, Dean of Graduate School, Dr. Hasanah Mohd. Ghazali, Deputy Dean, School of Graduate Studies, both from Universiti Putra Malaysia; Dr. Sornprach Thanisawanyankura, Vice President for International Affairs, and Ms. Phacharavadee Paerattakul, Director of International Affairs Office, both from Kasetsart University, Thailand; Dr. Mahesh Upadhyaya, Associate Dean, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences Graduate Studies, University of British Columbia, Canada; Dr. Richard Williams, Professor andCoordinator, Faculty International Programs, Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Australia; Dr. Akimi Fujimoto, Director of International Programs, and Dr. Michito Mihara, Deputy Director of International Programs,  both from the Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan; Dr. Luis Rey I. Velasco, Chancellor, Dr. Oscar B. Zamora, Dean of Graduate School, and Dr. Cristeta N. Cuaresma, Secretary of Graduate School, all from the University of the Philippines Los Baños; Ms. Marianne G. Quebral, Executive Director of Venture for Fund Raising; Dr. Arsenio M. Balisacan, Director; and Dr. Editha C. Cedicol, Manager of Graduate Scholarship Department, both of the SEAMEO Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).

The UC was established in September 1989 at SEARCA, College, Laguna, Philippines and its founding members are Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB) and Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Indonesia; Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM); Kasetsart University (KU) in Thailand; and University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).  Its associate members are University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada; University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia; the Georg-August University of Goettingen (UG) in Germany, and Tokyo University of Agriculture (TUA) in Japan.  SEARCA initiated the establishment of the UC and is the seat of the UC Secretariat.  (ECCedicol, GSD)

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