The Office of the Higher Education Commission and Chulalongkorn University are jointly setting up the ASEAN Studies Center in Thailand. Its aim is to provide reference sources both inside and outside Thailand, as well as to promote regional integration in preparation for the ASEAN Community in 2015.
During a recent meeting of higher education board members, Chulalongkorn University proposed a plan to set up the ASEAN Studies Center, which is divided into two phases over the next 10 years. The university is currently reviewing and modifying the plan as well as adjusting the center’s organizational structure, so that this project will be comprehensive.
According to the Deputy Secretary-General of the Office of the Higher Education Commission, Associate Professor Piniti Ratananukul, the first phase of the project, from 2012 to 2016, will place an emphasis on making Thailand ready to become part of the ASEAN Community in 2015. The center is set to become a one-stop service center regarding ASEAN issues and a reference center at the regional level.
The second phase will run from 2017 to 2021 and focus on the development of the center, so that it will be recognized at both regional and international levels. The center will also build more connectivity with organizations outside Thailand, thus strengthening academic curricula in the country’s educational institutions.
Associate Professor Piniti said that the ASEAN Studies Center would serve as a national organization that would demonstrate the potential of Thailand as a member of ASEAN and the readiness of Thailand’s education system for raising its people’s awareness of regional integration.
The center will also help the country play a proactive role in strengthening relations with other ASEAN partners and promoting the development of ASEAN’s three pillars.
Once completed, the ASEAN Studies Center will be an independent public organization, responsible for providing service and cooperation on research, study, and information on ASEAN. There will be a director of the center working with four committees, which will handle national, administrative, networking, and advisory issues.