A brief introduction of APEN (Asia Professional Education Network)
The newly established organization of APEN will be an Asian wide international network of universities/institutes who have developed or been preparing PBL (Project Based Learning) courses.
Most of the Asian economies have launched starting industrialization in the 20th century or at the beginning of 21stcentury, and now tackling many tasks in order to step forward into a new stage of development.
One of the biggest tasks that most of the Asian economies face now is human resource development specialized in industrialization. Economic development through industrialization needs plenty number of able and at the same time highly moralized human capitals both in business sectors and in governance sectors. Thus development of suitable education system of fostering such human capitals would be significantly required.
PBL may be regarded as one of the key requisite for Asian development in the 21st century as it provides substantially effective human resource development methodology especially in industrialization process, as apparent from its origin of being much influenced by so-called ‘on-the-job training’ system in private manufacturing firms.
We believe, moreover, that the system of PBL stands a kind of Asian wisdom in industrialization process which would complement the 20th century wisdom mainly initiated by so-called Western wisdom.
Thus we believe we are responsible for promoting and developing the system of PBL over the Asian world, as those efforts would contribute accelerating Asian development, a historic triumph of human being civilization in the modern world.
APEN is a network with specified purpose of developing PBL courses in the Asian universities/institutes and enhancing collaborations among them.
APEN functions consist of the following six pillars;
- R&D functions
- archive and compilation function
- promotion function
- haute couture function
- facilitation function of bilateral cooperation
- public relations function
(1) R & D function
APEN promotes research activities on development of professional education methodologies including PBL. Research works will be operated by APEN alone, joint research works with some of APEN universities/institutions, and collaborative works among APEN, APEN universities/institutions and entities outside.
The results of those research works, archived in APEN, would be expected to supply significant materials for academic and education people in considering new professional education methodologies.
(2) archive and compilation function
APEN takes an information centre role.
APEN archives material, data, information of PBL courses practiced in APEN participants and others. Those archives will be open to APEN participants.
APEN compiles those material, data, information and provide reference service to the public.
APEN will categorize PBL courses operated all over the world into three categories, the master level, the under-graduate level and others. This categorization is expected to help universities/institutes plan new PBL courses by examining details of those programs, and at the same time help mobilization of professional workers inside Asian region as master degrees or bachelor degrees of those PBL courses may be effective as signals of knowledge and skills of degree holders to private firms in workers adoption. In other words, PBL degrees will provide ‘visualization of the professional workers market’ in this region.
APEN participants can use that archive in planning their new PBL courses, or even they can order the APEN secretariat to draw up a basis of planning new PBL courses by referring and compiling archived cases.
(3) promotion function
APEN will settle an academic task force team to plan new PBL courses which would provide indispensable education contents in accelerating Asian development.
APEN will recommend those courses to APEN participants, and non-participating universities/institutes in this region to be adopted. Universities/institutes who have adopted them will be also recommended to participate in APEN.
(4) haute couture function
In the development of Asian industrialization, the key contribution would be provided by private firms as substantially all Asian economies are operated under the market economy system. Private firms in such areas as manufacturing, engineering, consulting, infrastructure management, which would play significantly important roles in Asian economic development, require specific, not only industry-by-industry basis specific but also company-by-company basis specific, education programs for their internal human resource development. Thus they require their own, custom made (haute couture) education programs.
APEN task force teams will be established to meet those specific requirements of private firms.
Private firms who establish cooperative ties with APEN would be entitled as ‘APEN Supporters’. An APEN task force team would be established in collaborative works with each APEN Supporter, to identity specific requirements of the firm, plan and compile a custom made PBL education program, and facilitate that program to be operated in some of APEN universities/institutes.
(5) facilitation function
APEN member universities/institutes will be recommended to conclude bilateral MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) or other types of agreements among APEN members. APEN would be, in a sense, caught as a nexus of those bilateral agreements, in which designated credits transfer mechanism, exchange of students etc..
APEN secretariat will take various types of facilitation measures to encourage APEN members conclude those agreements, and at the same time provide assistance and supplementary works of operating those agreements.
(6) public relations function
APEN will issue quarterly internal reports and publications to the public, and manage web-sites.
APEN will hold seminars several times a year under cooperation with international organizations, governments, private firms, universities/institutes, and other related entities.
(1) the Board of Directors (Steering Committee)
- The Board of Directors is the main decision making body of important agendas.
- The Board of Directors consists of following Directors.
One from each region chapter
One from the university/institute who are in charge of secretariat affairs
One from the secretariat
- The Board of Directors nominates one chairperson and several vice chairpersons by mutual election.
- Decision making of the Board of Directors is operated under the principle of decision by majority
- The Board of Directors may assign some advisors and esteem their opinions.
- The Board of Directors may settle expert meetings on specific issues and esteem their opinions.
(2) the Secretariat
- The Secretariat takes daily secretariat affairs under the direction of the Board of Directors.
- The Executive Director represents and supervises the Secretary.
- The Executive Director annually reports activities and accounts of the Secretariat to the Board of Directors.
- The Secretariat is temporally settled in and financed by AIIT.
- For the present, all budget of secretariat affairs will be financed by AIIT (APEN will not charge membership fees to APEN participating universities/institutes.).
- The Secretariat is required to seek for outer financial sources.