"China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week" Conference hosted by Chinese Ministry of Education at Krirk University Thailand

"China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week" Conference hosted by Chinese Ministry of Education at Krirk University Thailand

From 3rd to 4th December 2022, the “China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week” conference on the theme of "Thinking and Development of International Education in the Post-Epidemic Era" was successfully held at Krirk University, Thailand.

The “China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week,” organised by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and the Guizhou Provincial Government, is an event held since 2008 to promote friendship, education cooperation and cultural exchange between China and ASEAN. Vice Premier of the State Council of the PRC, Sun Chunnan, attended the opening ceremony of the 2022 event and delivered a speech.

This thematic conference, which is part of the 2022 China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week event, was jointly organised by Krirk University (Thailand), China International School (Thailand) and Beijing Language and Culture University under the guidance of the China Education Association for International Exchange and the China-ASEAN International Education Association (Thailand), with the main venue set at the International Academic Conference Center of Krirk University. It was broadcast on more than ten mainstream media live streaming platforms in Thai, Chinese and English for the whole world. More than 3,000 experts and scholars from China, Thailand, the UK, Russia, Singapore, Cambodia and Myanmar, as well as more than 100 Chinese and Thai institutions as co-organisers of the conference, participated online. Nearly three million people watched the live streaming during the conference.

The International Academic Conference Centre of Krirk University in Thailand was full with attendees. Hundreds of students and teachers attended the opening ceremony of the seminar. Mr. Liu Limin, President of China Education Association for International Exchange; Mr. Zou Lianke, Secretary General of the Organising Committee of China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week; Dr. Patcharinruja Juntaronanont, Advisor of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation of Thailand; Dr. Wilson Ang Seng Yi, Dean of Teaching and Learning of Nanyang Institute of Management, Singapore and Dr. Zhao Nan, Vice President of China International School, Thailand, attended the opening ceremony and delivered speeches. Messages of congratulation were sent by Ambassador Atthayut Srisamut of the Royal Thai Embassy in China, Ambassador Héctor Conde Almeida of the Embassy of Cuba in Thailand and Deputy Ambassador Thunch Dalin of the Embassy of Cambodia in Thailand, wishing the seminar great success.

As organiser of the conference, Krirk University of Thailand made the necessary preparations. The opening ceremony started with a wonderful performance by Thai musical instruments so that domestic and foreign participants could enjoy the unique humane and cultural atmosphere of Thailand.

President of Krirk University, Prof. Dr. Krasae Chanawongse, at the opening ceremony, delivered a passionate speech and gave an insightful analysis of the theme of the conference. “In the post-epidemic era, higher education has to ‘turn crisis into opportunity’ by taking notice of the situation and reflecting on it, further exploring and practising various teaching modes, building on the strengths and avoiding the weaknesses of existing teaching approaches and finding ways and means that are most relevant to effective face-to-face teaching to ensure the best educational results,” he said. In particular, he said that during the three-year epidemic, Krirk University was able to overcome the crisis and turn it into an opportunity to ensure students' learning outcomes and teaching quality. Krirk University has been recognised as a model university for the overseas dissemination and exchange of excellent Chinese traditional culture by a number of authoritative bodies.

Krirk University is ranked 149th in the QS Asia University Rankings 2023, one of the top five most prestigious universities in Thailand and ranked at the same level as 33 of the 985 universities in China. Krirk University is also awarded the QS Five Stars Excellent University prize (note: only three prestigious universities in Thailand have received QS five-star rating).

In response to the general theme of education in the post-epidemic era, various guests expressed their insights. Professor Liu Limin, President of the China Education Association for International Exchange, pointed out in his speech that the world has entered a new period of turbulence and change that the impact of the epidemic is still ongoing, that human society is facing unprecedented challenges and that various complex factors are intertwined with the development of education. In the post-epidemic era, education should make education cooperation and exchange a reality and promote high-quality development; carry out in-depth humanities exchanges to strengthen the foundation of cooperation between all parties; and deepen language exchange and cooperation to promote people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries, which are the three basic points to adapt to new changes, seek new breakthroughs and achieve new development.

Wilson Ang Seng Yi, Director of Teaching and Learning at Nanyang Institute of Management (NIM) Singapore, said: "During the epidemic period, we always put the needs of students as our first priority, helping students pursue their dreams to overcome the challenges brought about by the epidemic, by introducing a full range of attentive services as soon as the country began to open its borders, internalising these and showing them in action and promoting rapid enrolment while increasing efforts to return to school. We look forward to our students reaping the substantial benefits of their international education journey.”

Dr. Nan Zhao, Vice President of China International School (Thailand), said: “As a practitioner in basic education positions, the process of building the foundations of international education in high schools should be given more and more attention and this should be the orientation plan for international education. While Chinese companies are going global in clusters and the ASEAN Economic and Trade Cooperation Zone has created thousands of jobs in the region, China International School provides required education for the children of Chinese and overseas Chinese with a full complement of teaching materials from the Chinese People's Education Publishing Press, accompanying Chinese international education with love and wisdom.”

In addition to the guest speakers, this themed conference featured four keynote presentation sessions on the topics of "Sino-Thai New Higher Education Cooperation and Exchange", "Opportunities and Challenges Facing High Schools in the Context of the Normalisation of the Epidemic", "Cultural Integration of Education Technology in the Post-Epidemic Era" and "Creative Transformation and Overseas Exchange of Excellent Chinese Traditional Culture Education in the Post-Epidemic Era".

Dozens of experts and scholars from Thailand, China, the United Kingdom, Russia and other countries conducted in-depth analysis and research on four major themes. There were presentations on the impact of the new epidemic on the internationalisation of education in the new era and trends and countermeasures of diversification strategies for studying abroad in the context of the "One Belt, One Road" policy, the impact of technological advances on education and the promotion of education and the exploration of new ideas for spreading traditional Chinese culture overseas. The authors of the keynote report generally agreed that they should further enhance their understanding of the importance of international exchange and cooperation in education in the context of normalisation of the pandemic to endemic, adhere to the concept of empathy and the win-win approach, innovate the mode of international cooperation in education, carry out all-round and multi-dimensional exchanges and cooperation and make efforts to promote the deep development of international education cooperation.

It is expected to provide new ideas on education exchange and cooperation for China-ASEAN and "One Belt, One Road" construction in the post-epidemic era; to build an international exchange platform for higher education and basic education cooperation between China and ASEAN countries; to enhance friendship between Thailand and ASEAN and Chinese countries; and to strengthen cultural and educational exchanges between regions.

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