Cooperation and Development of Higher Education
within the East Asia Summit Framework
President，Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University，Thailand
Vice Minister of Ministry of Education Mr.Wang Liying，
Provincial Governor of the People's Government of Yunnan，
Ladies and gentlemen，
Greetings to all participants of The East Asia Summit Higher Education Cooperation Forum.I amhonored to be here to participate in this forumand to discuss strategies for implementing areas of cooperation and collaboration.Like you，we，too recognize the need for regional education cooperation to meet global challenges in education，particularly in the four areas named by the East Asia Summit Higher Education Cooperation Taskforce.Today I will discuss some of these areas and howwe at Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University are either already addressing themand some of our plans for the near future.
I represent one of a network of 40 universities in Thailand that have the name“Rajabhat”.Rajabhatmeans“the people of the King”.Presently，many of the 40 Rajabhat universities around Thailand，the oldest of which turn 73 years old this year，are fully comprehensive universities.Originally，they were designed as“normal schools”–teaching training Institutes.Our King rightly recognized that if Thailand was to raise to the level of other modern na-tions in the world，the first step was to raise the level of education of the Thai people，and to do that there was an urgent need for the training of teachers，and thus the Rajabhat systemwas born.
The Rajabhat Universities offer examples of course，collaborations and cooperation that can fit all four of the categories of East Asia Summit Higher Education Cooperation Taskforce Priorities.I will focus on some specific examples of several of those priority areas.Today，we are still leaders in teacher training.Point no.2 of the EAS Education Cooperation Taskforce is a focus on the quality of school teaching and education access.For the past several years we have focused on what we call“QA”–Quality Assurance.Of the many goals of QA，setting standards of consistency and the quality of delivery of teaching and instruction is among the highest.At Suan Sunandha Rajabhat University，in addition to our local and regional work，we have many created international partnerships，among themDeakin University in Australia and Indiana State University in the US，whomare assisting us in updating and internationalizing various aspects our curriculumand instruction.The Rajabhat network reaches throughout Thailand and is crucial in offering access to education for both rural and urban student populations.
Another area thatwe feel we can provide leadership in the field of Education is in the developmentof an“ASEANTeacher Training Standard?”in order to?formulate the standard for all teaching areas.It would be a great benefit to the Asean people who have chosen teaching as a career in order to support the labor mobilization in the near future.We would like our students as teachers to be leaders in their chosen field.If this standard is approved as an outcome of this forum，Suan Sunandha RajabhatUniversity would like to propose to be host the venue for the workshop next year in Bangkok，Thailand.
Point No.3 addresses another area of l strengthening TVET(Technical and Vocational Education and Training).Although we often think of technicalcollege environment when we talk about TVET，there are other areas of vocational training we address in the higher education setting.One of our areas of leadership is training the staff to the Thailand Labor Standards for Spa and Thai Traditional Massage.Others areas are nursing，graphic design，printing，and music to name just a few.
The 4th area of focus is themore general area of higher education.We are a comprehensive university and of course offer a large area of majors.Some particular areas of strength and growth thatwould be of interest to all are our InternationalCollege，Faculty ofManagementScience，Faculty of Education，and Graduate Faculty of Nursing.We have in place many strategic partnerships involving universities both in Asia and the west.We are participating in many globally focused projects that are interdisciplinary and international such as the Environmentally and Culturally Sustainable Local Economic Development or“ECSLED”project which includes six disciplines and Faculty and Students fromThailand，China，Morocco，and the US.
Part of the focus on our campus is preparing our students for the global workplace.One of the ways we are doing this is the encouragement of foreign language student and the development of joint degree programs with regional partners in Australia，Laos，Vietnam，and China.
We are very interesting in pursuing and improving the mutual recognition of degrees and a smoother transferability of degrees，and upgrading and linking technology both regionally and with partner institutions.The will allow ofmore sharing of resources，both increasing efficiency and making the cost of technologiesmore affordable.
I would like to welcome any interested East Asia members to come to Bangkok and permit us the opportunity to show you first hand some of the things are we are doing.I would also like to extend an opportunity for some of your students to come and study on our campus.Today I amannouncing Scholar-ships that we will award to qualified foreign students to help initiate more collaboration and cooperation between our East Asia partners.
The East Asia Higher Education Cooperation Forumhas presented many wonderful opportunities for advancing the quality and accessibility of education for students throughout East Asia.We are proud and grateful to be part of this exciting time.