On 24 September 2018, Mae Fah Luang University organised an international symposium under the theme “Education as a Mechanism for Sustainable Regional Development”. This was part of the 20th anniversary celebration, at the Princess Srinagarindra Auditorium, Mae Fah Luang University.
The primary objective of the symposium was to reflect on the role of education in connecting people, generating knowledge, and utilising resources for sustainable regional development. The symposium also served as a platform for MFU students, alumni, policy makers, diplomats, higher education institution leaders, and developmentalists to discuss the future role of education in the global context of rapid change and multiple disruptions.
There was a series of interesting talks from special guests including a speech by H.E. Mr. Prachuab Chaiyasan, Former Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand; Former Minister, Ministry of University Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand; and Former Chairman of Mae Fah Luang University Council entitled “Reflections and Memories of MFU and Regional Development” and a lesson learnt from MFU: “MFU and the Region: Open and Dynamic Partnership for Sustainable Development” presented by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Vanchai Sirichana, President of Mae Fah Luang University.
Moreover, there was a plenary session on “Higher Education for Future and Regional Sustainable Development” by distinguished keynote speakers which included Vice Minister of the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs of Indonesia, and former Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Thailand, H.E. Mr. Lutfi Rauf; the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Thailand to the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, H.E. Mr. Jukr Boon-Long; former Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and alumnus of Mae Fah Luang University, H.E. U Htay Aung; and Culture Counsellor from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Thailand, Ms. Lan Suhong.
In this session, the speakers discussed how education can be used as a mechanism for regional development. They also shared their views on the future role of universities and education as an impetus to sustainability and prosperity in the region.
Altogether this conference provided a great opportunity for participants to listen to the perspectives of diplomats who have extensive expertise in education development. Such valuable opportunity raised people's awareness of education’s importance as a key for sustainably developing the region. Young people, in particular, need to be aware of the importance of education in the development of the region. Additionally, the discussion inspired policy makers, diplomats, and higher education institution leaders to improve their operations and set the direction of educational institutes for the sustainability and the prosperity of the region.