Revisiting Canadian Old Friends, Sparking Thai New Initiatives SUT rekindles and strengthens ties with Canadian partners.

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Revisiting Canadian Old Friends, Sparking Thai New Initiatives SUT rekindles and strengthens ties with Canadian partners.

Associate Professor Dr Weerapong Pairsuwan, Rector of Suranaree University of Technology (SUT), led a team of SUT administrators and lecturers to pay a study visit to two of the first Canadian universities that SUT had collaborations with some 23 years ago. The SUT delegation which included Professor Dr Santi Maensiri, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Internationalisation, Assistant Professor Dr Weerachai Arjharn, Director of Technopolis, Associate Professor Dr Kongpol Areerak, Director of the Centre for Cooperative Education and Career Development, Dr Adisak Suvittawat, Lecturer from the School of Management Technology, and Assistant Professor Dr Issra Pramoolsook, Assistant to the Rector for University Council Affairs, made the first stop at University of Waterloo (UW) on Monday, April 23rd, 2018 and another one at University of Guelph (UG) on the next day.

During the early years after SUT’s establishment, SUT was introduced to four Canadian universities for academic promotion by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and numerous contributions were made by this contact, such as SUT’s first international programme in engineering, scholarships for SUT lecturers to study in Canada, student and staff exchange, and most importantly, introduction of co-operative education to SUT. After two decades, it is timely and beneficial to revisit these old colleagues to get updated about them and show and share success stories and new development with each other.

 

At UW whose globally recognised signature is co-operative education, the SUT delegation was warmly welcomed by Professor Feridun Hamdullahpur, UW President, who has a long-term friendship with SUT and received an SUT Engineering Honorary Doctorate in 2016. Upon learning from UW’s presentation, SUT congratulated them for having the biggest and the most successful co-operative educationprogramme in Canada as well as the new initiatives such as WatPD and EDGE. UW, in return, congratulated SUT back for the same achievement that has earned SUT the role model for co-operative education in Thailand. When visiting Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology Centre, both universities found a surprising coincidence, which is the Minor Programme in Entrepreneurship and the innovative Enterprise Co-operative Education programme that share very similar philosophy, methodology, and operational activities between the two universities. UW’s Accelerator Centre also functions and serves in many identical roles as those of SUT’s SEDA and the UBI at Technopolis.

On Tuesday 24th, the SUT team was cordially welcomed to UG by Dr Lynne Mitchell, Guelph’s Director of International Programmes, who connected SUT with UG’s Centre for Co-operative Education and Career Services. The co-op programmes at the two universities share a lot in common and both have achieved success and admiration in their respective countries. Highlight of this UG visit is the meeting with Dr Statia Elliot, Director of the School of Hospitality, Food, and Tourism Management, one of Canada’s most reputable programmers of this nature, who offered insights and encouragement for SUT to launch a new international programme on tourism and hospitality management under the Institute of Social Technology. She also suggested potential areas for collaborations between UG and SUT for the curriculum and staff development at the beginning stage of the programme.

This SUT’s trip to Canada has effectively brought SUT closer to UW and UG once again. These tighter ties will certainly bring about new and innovative collaborations that were not made possible in the past 23 years. It is the rekindling trip which will make our friendship tighter and more productive than ever.

 



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