Message from the AAED Convenor 
March 2022

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Welcome to our first newsletter for 2022. We offer our thoughts to those continuing to be impacted by COVID-19. While many are learning to live with the disease, Laos for example has been forced to close some schools in a number of districts this month as case numbers rise.

 

In Australia, both Southeast Queensland and Northern NSW have been hit by disastrous flooding. Our colleagues at Southern Cross University (SCU) in Lismore NSW have been on the front line of the flood relief effort and have been doing a great job providing community support. 

 

Despite the many challenges, there are good news stories across ASEAN and in Australia as we begin to see green shoots in the international education sector with borders opening and tentative student flows resuming. Our March newsletter provides some positive reports from the region that further illustrate increasing connectivity, cooperation and emerging partnerships.

 

The new “Australia for ASEAN” postgraduate scholarship program was launched in early 2022. It illustrates Australia’s commitment to building an increasingly close relationship with ASEAN by providing full scholarships for up to 10 eligible applicants from each of the 10 ASEAN member countries. 

 

Thailand has been a country of focus for our colleagues at NEAS with the March Thailand Workshop series sharing best practice and quality assurance processes with Thai High Schools, Vocational Colleges and English Language Centres that are using English as a medium of instruction. Congratulations to NEAS for its ongoing commitment to ASEAN wide professional development activities. Please note that the NEAS management conference is on in 6 weeks.

 

With the ongoing impact of COVID-19, there is little doubt that hybrid delivery of course content is an increasingly important part of Australia’s regional education partnership with ASEAN. In Academic English and English Language Test preparation, digital platforms that are NEAS endorsed online courses, such as e2 and PEAR Academy Australia provide the ELT community with effective ways of bridging the gap. Many students face the “tyranny of distance” in finding quality English language programs if they live in regional and remote areas. This impacts those applying for Australia Award scholarships who require a recent English test score to apply.

 

In April 2022 we will convene our first AAED webinar for 2022 in partnership with the University of Brunei Darussalam (UBD) on the topic of “Digital Transformation (DX) in Higher Education”. We also look forward to extending our partnerships with the ASEAN University Network (AUN) and the Global Learning Development Network (GDLN)

The Secretariat for both are hosted at Chulalongkorn University Bangkok.

Best wishes,

Michael Fay

Convenor of AAED