This section of the ACUCA website includes current articles from ACUCA member institutions. These articles will be included in the next ACUCA Newsletter. Upon inclusion into the Newsletter, these articles will be removed and new articles for the following Newsletter will be included.

Silliman University Celebrates its 119th Founders Day

Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Philippines August 28, 2020

Silliman University (SU) opens its 119th Founders Day with Dr. Betty Cernol McCannSU President, as speaker during the SU Church Sunday service, August 9, 2020, marking the opening of the celebration.

Dr. Betty McCann, SU President speaks during SU 119th Founders Day at the SU Church

In her message, Dr. McCann said “Invoking God’s guidance and wisdom, we take courage to avoid the path towards panic and fear that can lead us to inaction, to a sense of powerlessness and hopelessness.”

The SU president added that “Instead, following God’s leading we take the road towards informed decision making, banking on factual information and pooling together human resources to stay on course, to be adequate in our response, to think beyond the crisis we now face, and to imagine what higher education would be like ? how Silliman University should position itself as we are catapulted into a 21st century learning environment that, whether we like it or not, is now heavily leaning on the internet world and digital technology.”

With the theme “Hope Arising from the Solid Rock,” this year’s celebration, scheduled from August 9-31, 2020, the University outlined virtual activities that would maintain the “Silliman Spirit” despite the Covid-19 pandemic. “The FD (Founders Day) celebration this month will be part of the new students’ orientation to the life and works of this great university that has withstood the test of time for 119 years,” Dr. McCann said.

Sunrise service held on August 28, at the Amphi theater fronting the SU Church

She assures everyone that “the FD activities this year continue to feature the Sunrise Service, Sunday Worship Service, culture and the arts, Outstanding Sillimanian Awards, Parada Sillimaniana, church workers conference, and many more. Being online, the activities will not just be confined here on campus. As in the online ministry of the SU Church since March, the transmission of the Silliman Spirit anchored on the teachings of Jesus Christ will be global with participation of many alumni and friends in various parts of the world.”

“Like the pandemic, our events will become ‘contagious’ and ‘infectious’. But unlike the COVID-19, our celebration will be awesome and inspiring, life enhancing and life giving,” Dr. McCann concluded. (Source: SU Office of Information and Publications)

Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

New HKBU-led Study Unveils COVID-19 Transmission Pattern

May 13, 2020

With the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in lockdowns in different parts of the world, from the US to many European nations, there have been intense debates on when and how we can safely reopen the economy. New research led by HKBU computer scientists has used a data-driven modelling approach to answer the time-critical question of when the stringent social distancing and quarantine measures against COVID-19 can be loosened so that normal life and economic activities can be restored in a safe manner.

The research team developed a novel computational model that explicitly characterizes and quantifies the underlying transmission patterns among different populations throughout the various phases of the COVID-19 outbreak. Based on the model, the research team carried out a prospective analysis of the different work resumption plans, revealing the respective economic implications and the levels of disease transmission risk associated with each plan

The original research was titled “What are the Underlying Transmission Patterns of COVID-19 Outbreak? An Age-specific Social Contact Characterization”, and it was published in The Lancet’s EClinicalMedicine journal. The model was developed by a research team from HKBU’s Department of Computer Science, and the study was led by Professor Liu Jiming, Chair Professor of the Department, in collaboration with the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The research team will openly share their data-driven computational modelling and analytical tools with public health policymakers and researchers around the world, and this will enable them to capitalise on these tools for decision making using their domestic epidemiological data.

Assumption University, Thailand

Assumption University (AU) Provides Mental and Spiritual Counseling to Students

May 10, 2020

 

Having been alerted to the threat of the coronavirus since early February of 2020, the Assumption University (AU) of Thailand took immediate steps to mitigate the spread of the virus on its campus by activating to a fuller extent its Online Learning Management System. The system allows video conferencing of faculty members with their respective students on specified time and ensuring that the activity of teaching and learning goes on uninterrupted on an ad-hoc basis. “The full-online learning mode for its degree programs took effect on March 16, 2020 following the recommendation of the Thai Council of University Presidents and such is expected to continue to be implemented during the first semester, June – October 2020”, Dir. Chatelier said. Its students from China and other parts of the world were advised to remain in their home countries and requested to participate in the virtual classes instead.

Sensitive of the difficulties that the students may be experiencing, the university administration extends various forms of assistance. Specifically, to monitor the well-being of its students, the university provides mental and spiritual counseling services to those who need them. Within Academic Units, the Coordinators for Student Services activated online systems of Counseling particularly for two types of students, the international students who were stuck overseas, unable to report back to the University, and for those international students who were in Bangkok, unable to go home. In both cases the strategies carried out were to feed information on updates via the University website, the faculty website, and through the website of the office of International Affairs(www.oia.au.edu). The University’s Department of Student Affairs through its seasoned counselors provided immediate counseling to students via Zoom platforms and through teleconferences. The students, Thai and non-Thai were also offered counseling options through the neighboring Buddhist temples, Christian Churches while the two Chapels on either of the campuses were open all through the day for those who needed to seek silent prayer and spiritual recourse. Characteristic issues which arose among students were fear of isolation during the lockdowns, inertia issues due to lack of exercise, separation from loved ones, and sometimes dietary stress. The University’s Campus Ministers and the Chaplain were ready at all times to react to student calls for either counselling, or advice on faith issues and personal matters.

At the level of the Graduate Schools, the program in Counselling Psychology set up hotlines, and immediate Zoom access for the Graduate students who needed attention. The dialogic value of the interactions between student stress reach-outs and the capacities of the staff and faculty to relate to them during the COVID 19, underscored one of the values of the Catholic identity of Assumption University. The university is indeed “alma mater” particularly when its students are in need or distressed. “We cannot fulfil entirely the students needs but we are there to listen, to cheer up, to empathize, to offer suggestions and possible solutions,” Director Chatelier shared. The University emerges as neighbour, not mere structure, as comfort provider, not, merely knowledge facilitator. The University is coach, mentor and fellow traveller in the pathways, unseemingly, as they are, in the COVID 19 crisis. University President Rev. Brother Bancha Saenghiran, in the best stroke of the Good Samaritan extended to all Undergraduate enrolees a 25% Scholarship till October 2020, while assuring all Faculty and Staff of equitable emoluments, with no deductions whatsoever.

“Let it not be left unsaid that we prevail in our faith in God our Father, and in Jesus our Lord and Savior to stand with us in these times, and to help us extend our hands of assistance to those who need it in our community and elsewhere,” Director Chatelier said.

Tunghai University, Taiwan

IR Thermographers Installed at Tunghai University to Fight COVID-19

May 1, 2020

 

To alleviate the long queue of students for temperature-taking during peak hours, Tunghai University of Taiwan installed three infrared (IR) thermographers on March 12, 2020 at three major entrances of the university. This was made through the generous donation from Tunghai Women’s Association in Taiwan.

The IR thermographers are developed by the National Chung-Shan Institute of Science & Technology (NCSIST). Multiple technical teams from NCSIST led by the Materials and Electro-Optical Division Director Dr. Yi-Cheng Cheng and Dr. Guo-Ren Chang, are stationed on campus to facilitate the launch of the epidemic prevention. The NCSIST utilizes its in-house technology of room temperature IR imaging to develop these lightweight thermal imagers. The high-resolution room temperature IR thermal imaging module, in combination with NCSIST’s patented algorithm in IR measurement, ensures measurement accuracy within 1 degree Celsius. The performance is much better than those of like products of major international manufacturers.

Tunghai University of Taiwan has been taking all necessary measures to follow the advisories of the National Health Command Center since the outbreak of the COVID-19. The administration is grateful to university faculty and student community for abiding on the university campus COVID19 control measures and for taking all necessary adjustments during such challenging times.

Parahyangan Catholic University, Indonesia

Parahyangan Catholic University (UNPAR) Staff Mobility Activity

One of Parahyangan Catholic University’s language instructors, Kristining Seva, S.S., M.Pd from Career Development Center, has participated in “International Seminar on Internationalization, Innovation, and Sustainable Development” hosted by Lille Catholic University, France, under the Erasmus + framework. From 19th to 23rd March, 40 participants from 15 different countries gathered in Lille.

Organized around the themes of innovation, sustainable development and internationalization, this seminar enabled the participants to (i) Discover the major multidisciplinary projects of our university in sustainable development and innovation, including some site visits on our campus and in the surrounding area, (ii) Exchange on best practices, explored through talks and workshops on topics such as local culture and intercultural communications (iii) Discuss interactions between our university and local authorities, companies, and society.

Talks on the subject “From International to Intercultural: Promoting Cultural Competencies throughout the University” and various discussions have led to the further exchange of good practices on internationalization.

Proudly, UNPAR along with Sophia University (Japan) and Tbilisi State University (Georgia) were given the opportunity to present on how respective universities introduce culture, habit, and local language for incoming foreign students. This was the most engaging session because audiences were very interactive and there were many examples of local cultural practices that was shared as it is the presenter’s based practice in their home universities.

The discussion was somehow led into a specific interest how the intercultural based practices could be more elaborated in the next seminar which perhaps could be held in Asian university with purposes to see more perspective related to the Internationalization in University.