Be Prepared For Challenges ASEAN Students Told

Be Prepared For Challenges ASEAN Students ToldBy Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Abd Ra’ai Osman

BANGI, 19 January 2015 – University Students of ASEAN member states should be prepared to face unprecedented global challenges following it becoming an integrated economic community this year.

Vice-Chancellor of the National University of Malaysia (UKM) Professor Datuk Dr Noor Azlan Ghazali said undergraduates from ASEAN universities needed to brace themselves to face tougher competition in the years to come as the grouping is now a single market.

He said while economic growth could bring prosperity it might also result in gaps between the haves and have-nots since growth do result in certain groups being left behind.

Prof Noor Azlan was welcoming 44 participants to the 4th ASEAN+3 educational forum and young speaker’s contest here today.

The forum is on ‘Developing ASEAN+3 Economic Integrated Community: Issues On Gender Equality, Minority Groups And Persons with Disabilities’ at the 15th ASEAN University Network (AUN).

Acknowledging that the level of economic development varied widely between member states, he nevertheless expressed confidence that over time the disparity would narrow down.

“It may be quite some time, perhaps 50 years before we can have a common currency like the European Community,” he said.

The forum, one of the flagship youth activities of AUN which started in 1998, aims at increasing in depth awareness of ASEAN to the future leaders in the region and its dialogue partners: China, Japan, and South Korea.

It also serves as a platform for the youths of ASEAN+3 to express their concerns for the region and their perceptions of its future through policy-oriented proposals.

AUN is an Asian university association, founded in November 1995 by ASEAN member countries which included 13 universities. After the enlargement of ASEAN by the ASEAN Charter in 1997 and 1999, the AUN membership has expanded to include universities from Japan, China and South Korea.

AUN Deputy Executive Director Dr Choltis Dirathiti, Deputy Vice-Chancellors Prof Datuk Dr Mazlin Mokhtar (Research and Innovation Affairs), Prof Datin Dr Noor Aziah Mohd Awal (Student and Alumni Affairs), Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities Prof Dr Hazita Azman and Deputy Deans Assoc Prof  Dr Noraini Ibrahim (Research and Innovation) and Prof Dr Mohd Fuad Mat Jali (Post Graduate and International Affairs) attended the function.