APRU 12th Senior Staff Meeting

New Leadership Seizes Opportunities


Delegates at the 12th Senior Staff Meeting, Jakarta, Indonesia. 

12th APRU Senior Staff Meeting, Jakarta, 11-13 November 2014

Strong Participation in Jakarta

Drawing inspiration from a prestigious and diverse membership around the dynamic Asia-Pacific region, APRU’s Senior Staff, vice-provosts, directors and other university leaders and administrators, met in Jakarta to review the past year and plan for 2015.

Click here to view photographs from the meeting.


Highlights ranged from announcing new programs on Internet governance, university fund-raising and an Ageing in Asia Hub to exploring the big opportunities of trans-Pacific online education and the potential of APRU to provide a neutral framework for informed dialogue on international relations issues.


New Leadership

The new co-Chairs of the International Policy Advisory Committee (IPAC), Professor Mohd Hamdi Abd Shukor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International), University of Malaya, and Professor Dennis Galvan, Vice Provost (Global Affairs), University of Oregon, made an immediate impact with their ability to distill the issues at hand into clear strategic choices and programmatic actions. 

Fresh from hosting the APRU Provosts’ Forum in Kuala Lumpur two weeks previously, Professor Hamdi welcomed participants and thanked senior officials from the Indonesian Ministry of Education and the Higher Education Council for their introductory presentations. 

 The APRU catchphrase ‘Knowledge-Action-Impact’ was highlighted by Professor Galvan as he set out the key issues for the working groups on each of the thematic priorities. He said all three thematic priorities showed how APRU member universities can work together to harness knowledge and collaborate on initiatives to influence policies. He reinforced this by pointing out that the Equity and Access Program, the Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL) program and the Multi-Hazards Program are generating position papers which impact both university and government policies.


(Left to right) APRU Secretary General Dr Christopher Tremewan and the 2 IPAC co-Chairs, Prof Hamdi Abd Shukor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & International), University of Malaya and Prof Dennis Galvan, Vice Provost for International Affairs, University of Oregon, wrapping up the day’s discussion on Nov 12.

Innovative Session

Participants expressed particular appreciation for the new session when APRU Program Directors, Jacquelline Heng, Cheryl Torrado and Andre Edelhoff, outlined the opportunities and challenges within their portfolios. Dr Erik Lithander, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International & Outreach), Australian National University, commended the Program Directors and APRU. He said that the presentations were extremely important as an overview across all Working Groups. This would aid Senior Staff in advocating APRU’s initiatives and activities within their universities.


Productive Feedback

Reporting on Working Group 1, Professor Jeffrey Riedinger, Vice Provost for Global Affairs, University of Washington, sought to clarify the topics and domains that APRU should seek to influence. He distinguished between the sectoral or institutional concerns of higher education (especially the survival of research universities) and the domains within institutions that seek to address the big challenges and influence policy at national and international levels. Being clear on where APRU’s leverage lies would enable it to identify which international organisations to partner with. 

Professor Sung Jin Kang, Vice President, Korea University, also co-Chair of Working Group 1, emphasised the need to find ways of incentivising researchers to engage with the thematic research priorities, noting that many funding agencies and donors now require policy impact to be shown.

Working Group 2 Co-chair, Professor Susan Elliott, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Engagement), University of Melbourne, expressed satisfaction at the balanced portfolio of mature programs including the Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership Program led by Professor Masako Egawa, Vice President, University of Tokyo. She noted the imperative of influencing presidents to spark internal change while also have an impact on the Asia-Pacific policy environment with respect to gender. Student leadership and the social engagement of universities was also a major area for development. 

Professor Junichi Mori, Vice President for International Relations, Kyoto University, and Fiona Docherty, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International), UNSW Australia, shared that Working Group 3 focused on increasing participation in APRU programs by members, policymakers, business and communities through innovative models of collaboration (noting the clear success of the hub model), improved information flow from and to the Secretariat, and taking ownership by using the research management information provided by Elsevier. 

Professor Shantanu Dutta, University of Southern California, drew the link between the working groups, stating that policy papers emerging from WG3 could be a pilot for influencing the direction and engagement of universities under WG1. This was seen as an immediate potential outcome.


(Left to right) Co-Chairs of the 3 working groups: Prof Masako Egawa (University of Tokyo), Prof Junichi Mori (Kyoto University), Dr Dennis Galvan (University of Oregon) (session’s moderator), Mrs Fiona Docherty (UNSW Australia), Dr Jeff Riedinger (University of Washington), Prof Susan Elliott (University of Melbourne) and Prof Sung Jin Kang (Korea University).

Strategic Direction for a New Phase

At the beginning of the meeting, Secretary General Christopher Tremewan, set out the phases of APRU’s work since 2011 when it developed a new Strategic Framework, clustering its activities around three priorities: Shaping Asia-Pacific Higher Education and Research, Creating Asia-Pacific Global Leaders and Partnering on Solutions to Asia-Pacific Challenges. The latest phase of developing this consensus into action involved:

- Program review and development

- Strengthening deliberative structures

- Fitting organisation to the strategy

- Identifying new models for engagement

- Establishing new international partnerships

- Improving communications and relationship management

 Looking ahead, Dr Tremewan set the goal of APRU having a greater impact as an international organization based in the Asia-Pacific region. Elements of this enlarged role would include collective international leadership by university presidents, additional innovative models of engagement, more systematic use of research management data, maintaining a high level of commitment amidst the usual cycle of institutional change, better organizational alignment so that the right people get and act on the right information, and more successful fund-raising.

“I am confident and enthusiastic about APRU because it has a unique coherence and reach which fits the current geopolitical shifts towards the Pacific Rim. There is now huge potential to use this remarkable alliance for truly transformational action which brings together education, research, and innovation with policy in fruitful partnerships engaging other international organisations, governments, business and local communities. At the same time, collegial activities amongst members yield benefits for all.”

The meeting concluded with a summing-up session that looked at what is working, the challenges ahead and the immediate action items.


APRU Secretary General Dr Christopher Tremewan delivering the Secretary General’s report to Senior Staff

APRU Senior Staff Look Forward to 2015

The Presidential Retreat and 19th Annual Presidents Meeting will be hosted by Osaka University from 28–30 June 2015. Click here to view Professor Yasuyuki Okamura’s invitation. The 13th Senior Staff Meeting will be hosted by The University of Auckland from 2–4 September 2015. Click here to view Professor Jennifer Dixon’s  invitation.

University of Indonesia Hosts SSM

APRU SSM participants were privileged to be hosted by the University of Indonesia. The meeting was welcomed by Professor Tommy Ilyas, Secretary to the University. The APRU Senior Staff host at UI was Director Junaidi and his team.

The opening session centered on the theme “The State of Higher Education in the Region: Trends and Opportunities”, with a keynote address and a plenary session comprising speakers from the Indonesian International Education Foundation, ASEAN Secretariat and University of Indonesia. 

Dr Megawati Santoso, Directorate General of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia and a member of the Higher Education Council, presented on the higher education landscape in Indonesia and its national qualifications framework.  Panelists Mr Kamal Mamat, Assistant Director, Youth and Training Division, ASEAN Secretariat, Ms Diana Kartika Yahya, Director, The Indonesian International Education Foundation (IIEF) and Professor Tommy IIyas shared on the region’s plans and challenges of the higher education sector as well as the promotion of international education within Indonesia.



Keynote Address: Dr Megawati Santoso (right), Directorate General of Higher Education, Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia and member of the Higher Education Council responding to a question from the floor.

A highlight of the meeting was a visit to University of Indonesia’s Depok campus and a keynote address by Dr Teguh Dartanto from the Faculty of Economics presented on Indonesia’s socio-economic characteristics, the challenges and opportunities which the country faces in national development as well as reforms on various fronts e.g. allocation of human and natural resources, social policies and transition to a knowledge-based economy. 



Dr Teguh Dartanto from UI’s Faculty of Economics speaking on “Indonesia Today: Choosing the Right Path at the Right Time”.

Other faculty members who have been engaged with APRU in various programs were also invited to speak on potential collaboration opportunities between APRU and the university.



Panelists of the “Opportunities for Collaboration: University of Indonesia and APRU” session at UI. (Left to right) Dr Raphaella D. Dwianto, Head of Graduate Studies in Sociology; Prof. Dr. IR, Fitri Sari, Head of Development and Information System Service, Drs. Gatot Fatwanto Hertono, Head of Services and Development of Distant Learning Office; and Dr Bambang Wispriyono, Lecturer and former Dean of Faculty of Public Health.


Download materials:

Program Schedule

Participants List

Presentations on November 11:

- Keynote Address by Dr Megawati Santoso

- Plenary Session on "The State of Higher Education in the Region: Trends and Opportunities"

- Secretary General's Report

 Presentations on November 12:

- Presentations on Thematic Priorities 1, 2 and 3

- Presentations at respective breakout groups:

- Working Group 1

- Working Group 2

- Working Group 3

- Invitation to Presidential Retreat and 19th Annual Presidents Meeting by Osaka University

- Invitation to 13th Senior Staff Meeting by University of Auckland

 Presentations on November 13:

- "Indonesia Today" by Dr Teguh Dartanto

- Plenary Session on "Opportunities for Collaboration: University of Indonesia and APRU"