OUR membership in the ASEAN University Network (AUN), hopefully, will entice more of our younger academics to want to experience working closely in real time with offshore colleagues. Consequently, we hope HEI’s will free their budding academics for professional leaves in ASEAN universities. With this expectation, let us share brief historical backgrounds of several ASEAN neighbors, noting the fact that these HEIs carry on the academic traditions borne from their historical experience. Herewith too, are examples of academic leaves that may be enjoyed during cross-border stints.
Singapore and Malaysian universities generally follow British academic traditions. As the British East India Company’s trading post from the early decades of 1800, Singapore was a crown colony of Great Britain from 1946 to 1963, becoming a sovereign state in 1965. Malaysia, once known as Malaya, has its history tied up with Singapore—as a colony of Great Britain except for the several years of Japanese occupation (1942 to 1945) until its independence in 1963.
Indonesia, whose historical roots are with the Netherlands, was a spice and cash crops trading post, eventually colonized as the Dutch East Indies until its independence in 1949.<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Indonesia>
Vietnam, France’s huge colony was referred to as French Indochina in 1887 until its independence six decades after, in 1954.Besides French, Chinese tradition has marked traces in Vietnam as well. The Chinese rule of more than a thousand years “left Vietnam with profound Confucian traditions which placed great emphasis on the value of learning, reverence for teachers, and a strong motivation to learn.” As a French colony, one huge educational influence on Vietnam was replacing “the Vietnamese and Chinese character system with a romanized Vietnamese writing system.” This has been acknowledged to have “contributed to a dramatic increase in literacy and the growth of a local publishing industry.” About North Vietnam, Soviet education influence “contributed positively to Vietnamese education, primarily in science, mathematics, medicine and language pedagogy.” http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinionVietnam-a-Nation-on-the-Move-30178216.html
The only Southeast Asian country to avoid Western colonial rule is Thailand. France and Britain decided to leave it as a neutral territory to avoid conflict between them over their colonies. After the end of the absolute monarchy in 1932, Thailand endured 60 years of almost permanent military rule. Then was established a democratically elected government system until the 2014 coup d’état. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thailand Because of that coup, the annual meeting of our PASCH schools care of the Goethe Institut headquarters for Southeast Asia in Bangkok, was transferred to Singapore 10 months later. PASCH schools are supported by the Bundesrepublik Deutschland as “Schools: Partners for the Future,” for their strong interest in German language and culture.
AS for the Philippines—our 300 years under Spain, several years under Japan, and four decades under the US, until we got our independence and the pervading influence thereafter to the present, has our academic lingo very much American. Being in the ASEAN and for our improved global fluency, let’s familiarize ourselves with varying academic lingo and practices (British, Dutch, French, Chinese) of our ASEAN colleagues.
Research/study leaves and visiting/exchange professors. Academic leaves, for research/study grants, are for several months to a full schoolyear during which one may receive a full salary. If the grant carries a stipend, this amount could likely be part of or in addition to, the regular salary during leave. If the home university’s finances are tight, an exchange could be pre-arranged where the visiting academic under a grant may take over the teaching assignment of the academic on leave as an exchange. This way, there is no economic loss but all gains on both sides–the learning of students from the visiting academic (grant-funded) and that acquired by the academic whilst on leave through his/her research/teaching exposure in a new academic environment. Such a leave may also fall under a sabbatical leave. Offshore exposure in ASEAN HEI’s could be through the Nippon Foundation Fellowships for Asian Public Intellectuals where one may enroll in an HEI in Thailand, Indonesia or Malaysia (besides in the Philippines or in Japan) or the National University of Singapore Graduate Student Fellowships for Asians research grant or the master’s degree scholarship at the Vietnam National University of Forestry. For more, check the AUN website.
Sabbatical leaves. A sabbatical is a leave privilege granted on the seventh of full time teaching/administration/research assignment. My schoolyear and a summer away from Xavier University for doctoral coursework was a sabbatical and a summer leave with regular salary for both leaves. While on sabbatical, one is expected to keep on working, although not in the same kind of work “designed to reinvigorate and restore one’s academic energies, and to provide a base for future intellectual development and achievement.” Sabbatical leave is “not a right of employment or of excellent performance. It is a privilege awarded based upon an assessment of the contribution that will be made to the university as a result of the leave. If the work to be conducted while on leave will strengthen the eligible academic’s ability to serve the mission and purpose of the university in the future, an application for sabbatical leave will usually be approved.”<https://academicaffairs.uoregon.edu/academic-and-sabbatical-leaves>
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A rejoinder to the Epiphany column last week. “Like many other ‘Solemnities’ and former holidays of obligation, the feast of the Epiphany has been moved to the nearest Sunday” (January 8, not 6, 2017). “Presumably this is so more people can truly celebrate the beautiful feast which the Spaniards called Los Tres Reyes.” Thanks to Fr. Jim O’Donnell of Ateneo de Manila.
The author, one of the country’s most accomplished institutional management experts, held top academic positions at Xavier University (the Ateneo de Cagayan) before heading chartered institutions. She attended topmost universities in the Philippines, Germany, Great Britain and Japan. An internationalization consultant on call, she is journal copy editor of, and Graduate Studies professorial lecturer at, the Liceo de Cagayan University. Awards include a Lifetime Professional Achievement from the Commission on Higher Education and recently, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland).