Member Activities :: Victoria University helps establish Mekong Tertiary Education Consortium
A number of leading tertiary education institutions in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, Australia and New Zealand have agreed to establish a consortium to promote education and research.
Meeting at Yunnan University in Kunming City, Yunnan Province, China on 1 November 2001, representatives of the institutions resolved to proceed with the establishment of the Greater Mekong Sub-Region Tertiary Education Consortium (GMSTEC) as an educational trust to provide opportunities for the institutions to combine their resources for specific projects for the benefit of the Greater Mekong Subregion.
The nine institutions which will initially make up the GMSTEC consortium are: Victoria University of Wellington; Yunnan University, China; Khon Kaen University, the Asian Institute of Technology and the Mekong Institute, all in Thailand; the Hanoi National Economics University and the University of Economics in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Adelaide University, Australia; and New Zealand's University of Canterbury. It is anticipated that further Mekong region institutions—including those from Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar—will join the consortium in the future.
Initially, GMSTEC will focus on arrangements for joint degrees and staff exchanges so as to maximise the opportunities for sharing of expertise relevant to the Mekong Sub-Region. It will also seek support for projects—both educational and research—which will assist in the development of the Mekong Sub-Region.
Victoria University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, said that GMSTEC was a very important development. "With 300 million people and a huge resource base, the Mekong region is an area of great potential," he said. "The institutions which will contribute to GMSTEC have a common interest in the development of tertiary education in the Mekong Region, and a very considerable range of expertise which we are aiming to share through this consortium."
Formal establishment of the GMSTEC Trust will be completed in the next six months, and the first Board meeting will be held in the middle of 2002.