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Important announcement! 

We would like to start the 6th Newsletter with the announcement that MARCO POLO project will be extended 3 more months. This being the reason why our project will last until January 2020. We are so glad that all ASEAN and European partners will have still more time to share synergies. 

National Roundtables carried out in Thailand 

Our partners from PSU and NU have been cooperating together in the implementation of two National Roundtables on their premises. This activity is under Work Package 8: Sustainability aiming to present strategies and tips to build and maintain networking among universities in HEIs as well as to promote HEIs through Internationalization. 

The 2nd National Roundtable held in Phitsanulok, had a very distinguished keynote speaker, Dr. Jakarin Srimoon, Dean of International College, University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) and Executive Director of the Southeast Asian and Latin American Tread Center (SEA-LAC), shared his experiences on international relations, current global trend, international policies, diplomatic strategies et cetera required to boost international status of university. 

On the other hand, the 3rd National Roundtable organised by PSU was focused on the Impact of Internationalization on Academic Rankings and took place at Krabi Tipa Resort in Thailand. Through the informative event, participants learned about the weighted impact of various academic indicators on globally recognized university rankings. The keynote speaker then highlighted internationalization strategies that alleviate the most prevalent issues with the currently existing internationalization policies of Thai HEIs, and help to elevate their institutional visibility to a competitive level. The session was concluded by examining effective methods to formulate university strategies, using UNESCO Internationalization Indicators as a model

Students and staff Mobilities within WP3 of have already started! 

Transnational mobilities are a key issue within MARCO POLO. Students and professors will have a great opportunity for international development abroad: 2 weeks at European universities (FHJ, US and HWU), and 1-2 weeks at Asian universities (NU, PSU, HANU, PTIT, USM and UM). Partners such as NU have already carried out their mobilities between April and July 2019 with great success and benefit for our professors and students. 

Another excellent example of mobilities implemented are the ones of our Austrian partner (FH JOANNEUM). Students from FHJ have visited our partner universities in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia between June and August 2019. The students have participated in lectures, events and activities. Their reports about their experience provides excellent ground for recommendations for FH JOANNEUM students, who want to do a semester abroad at any of these universities and will doubtlessly motivate more students to visit South-East Asia. In addition to their reports, students interviewed 5 internationalization experts at each of the universities (with a total of 30) concerning the state of internationalization, providing solid data for an extensive content analysis, which will be published soon.  

Moreover, we have also the testimony of one of our colleagues that has done a staff mobility, from UM to FHJ. During their stay they could understood how internalisation can be part of the programmes offered, as well as how innovative teaching methods wich involves the local industry abd community, have made Higher Education learning more valuable. It can be satted that this has been a lifetime experience. 

Third Internal Workshop under the Erasmus+ “MARCO POLO” Project

On 3 August 2019, PSU held the 3rd Internal Information Workshop under the MARCO POLO Erasmus+ project, with the explicit aim to inform participants about the current roles and services of the International Affairs Office, and to disseminate the valuable experiences gained through training sessions with international experts earlier under the project. Accordingly, the audience – comprised of staff, administrators, and faculty related to internationalization at the university – were not mere listeners but active participants in the sessions conducted throughout the day.

The morning session, titled “Internationalisation of Higher Education: Theory and Practice”, provided the attendees with background information on the elements of internationalization, and the importance of Internationalization at Home (IaH). The session leader, Ms. Porntip Kanjananiyot, former Executive Director of the Thailand-United States Education Fund (TUSEF/Fulbright Thailand), then guided the participants through practical exercises, where they formulated the university’s long-term strategic plan by ranking relevant issues. The afternoon session by Dr. Wongkot Phuphumrat, Assistant President for International Affairs, focused on informing the audience on the most recent developments in internationalization at PSU, and elicited feedback on several relevant issues that were subsequently discussed in detail.

PSU’s third Internal Information Workshop was the final event of its kind in the series planned under MARCO POLO, an EU-funded project designed to increase the internationalization capacity of the participating partner institutions. In the last three years, PSU took full advantage of the several opportunities offered in this program to learn from European experts on internationalization, and then share this valuable knowledge and experiences with stakeholders not only within its five campuses, but also at other academic institutions throughout Thailand.
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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.