The Association of Christian Universities and Colleges in Asia (ACUCA) is a community of Christian institutions of higher learning in Asia. It has a comprehensive mandate of bringing about a veritable community of Christian institutions in the region by working closely together to benefit each other as the societies in which they exist. The ACUCA Secretariat has been designed to be instrumental in creating the environmental prerequisites for active interaction and participation among the member institutions to take place. In realizing this goal, there must be a continuing response to the changing conditions of Asian societies, a constant awareness of educational development in the region, and a resolute will to actualize the Christian witness even in academic pursuits. Through cooperation, mutual support, and encouragement, the Association endeavors to help the Christian universities and colleges in Asia to:
- Develop and maintain their Christian character.
- Enrich the quality of their educational programs and those of the other institutions of learning
- Re-examine the relevance of their objectives and programs in relation to the needs of a changing society
Currently, ACUCA has 64 member institutions from 8 countries/regions of Asia, namely Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand. The ongoing activities that ACUCA supports include:
- Student exchange program under its Student Mobility Scheme (SMS)
- Faculty fellowship program under its Faculty Mobility Scheme (FMS),
- Biennial conference which is usually held at the home country of the ACUCA President,
- Student Camp which provides venue for student-participants from the 64 member-institutions of the association to come together and experience the richness of conversations concerning culture, environment, equality, faith and religion from the viewpoint of Christianity,
- General Assembly which is a meeting of all member-institutions, and
- Management Conference which is held once every two years.
The association is headed by its incumbent President, Dr. Kwang-Sup Lee who is also the current President of Hannam University of Daedeok-Gu Daejeon, Korea. For more details, contact the Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org
ACUCA is unique in that it has a comprehensive mandate to bring about a veritable community of Christian institutions of higher learning in Asia, working closely together to benefit each other as well as the societies in which they exist. The ACUCA Secretariat is designed to be the instrumentality for creating the environmental prerequisites for active interaction and participation among the member institutions to take place. In realizing this goal, there must be a continuing response to the changing conditions of Asian societies, a constant awareness of educational developments in the region, and a resolute will to actualize the Christian witness even in academic pursuits. Only through effective programs can the Association live up to the high expectations of its membership and ensure its viability.
- The majority of the membership operate without the benefit of public subsidy. The mounting costs of education necessitate efficiency and effectiveness in managing and allocating the limited resources of the non-profit member-institutions. A need arises for exchange of management technology in order to optimize their capacity in higher education.
- The educational and social contribution of the membership depends as well on the quality of their teaching staff. The test of the faculty in these institutions is not only in their mastery of the latest pedagogical and research techniques but also in their convincing commitment to the Christian dimension of education. Without this commitment, the Christian college or university is no longer any different from other institutions of higher learning.
- The outputs of Christian higher education are a major concern of the member-institutions. How can we more or less assure that our graduates bring with them the duties as well as the joy of the Christian witness, to be shared by them with their colleagues in the professional world? How can we keep the Christian spirit alive in campus, with the maximum and willing participation of the studentry?
- Not of lesser importance is the members’ responsibility to the surrounding community. It is the worry of the membership that involved as they are with academic excellence and administrative efficiency, they could forget the rationale behind the establishment of a Christian institution. The spectre of alienation from the rest of society as glaring enclaves of elitism is what haunts the member-institutions in developing countries. As it is the task of Christianity to be socially relevant, the membership finds the need to actualize their Christian character through outreach programs. There is much that the Association can do to promote exchange of skills and resources for community services.
C. Purposes and Objectives
Through cooperation, mutual support, and encouragement, the Association endeavors to help the Christian universities and colleges in Asia:
- develop and maintain their Christian character;
- enrich the quality of their educational programs and those of the other institutions of learning; and
- re-examine the relevance of their objectives and programs in relation to the needs of a changing society.
The objectives for which the Association is established are, in pursuit of the purposes defined above:
- to serve as a clearing house for sharing and exchanging useful and worth-while information, publications, and materials regarding Christian higher education;
- to arrange conferences, seminars, workshops, consultations, lectures, and programmes of similar nature;
- to promote and facilitate exchange of faculty, staff and students among member-institutions, and with other institutions of learning;
- to foster cooperative research projects;
- to encourage and support faculty and staff development;
- to stimulate and promote Christian outreach towards other institutions of learning;
- to serve as liaison body to seek cooperation with and to enlist the support of foundations, mission boards, business communities, governments and other organisations and agencies concerned with higher education in Asia;
- to undertake any other objective of a similar nature as may be demanded by the needs of the times.
D. Operational Philosophy
- The activities of the Association will be need-oriented. Its work will be in direct relation to identified problems and the effectiveness of the programs in solving these problems. Programs will, therefore, not be introduced after which there would be a search for needs for which they would fit.
The operational philosophy is one of flexibility. ACUCA will constantly orient its programs to changing circumstances, thus maintaining responsiveness to needs in member-countries.
- Proceeding from the above premise, the Association can achieve its goals only if the member-institutions continue to share a substantial part of their attention and efforts to cooperating with, strengthening, and giving their feedback to the programs. Permanent national committees with representation from all member-institutions will go a long way in making ACUCA a strong force in Asian higher education.