The SEAMEO Centres Policy Research Network (SEA-CPRN) was firstly introduced as a component of the SEAMEO College, a project launched in 2013. The Network is established to enhance relevance and sharpen responsiveness of SEAMEO Centres and the Secretariat to the needs of education leaders for policy research to address regional human resource development issues in Southeast Asia.
To fulfil the SEAMEO Centre Directors’ recommendation at the 2017 SEAMEO Centre Directors meeting for SEAMEO Secretariat to create the task force of SEA-CPRN, SEAMEO Secretariat organised the first meeting of SEAMEO Centres Policy Research Network Task Force on 20-21 February 2018 in Bangkok Thailand. The meeting aims to 1) organise the SEAMEO Centres Policy Research Network, 2) identify research priorities and opportunities of SEAMEO and SEAMEO Centres, and 3) develop a plan of action for 2018-2020. The expected outputs include 1) a 3-year plan for the Network and 2) network of the task force.
The meeting was attended by 36 directorates/representatives from 20 SEAMEO units, namely, SEAMEO BIOTROP, SEAMEO CECCEO, SEAMEO CHAT, SEAMEO INNOTECH, SEAMEO QITEP in Language, SEAMEO QITEP in Mathematics, SEAMEO QITEP in Science, SEAMEO RECFON, SEAMEO RECSAM, SEAMEO RETRAC, SEAMEO RIHED, SEAMEO SEAMOLEC, SEAMEO SEN, SEAMEO SPAFA, SEAMEO TED, SEAMEO TROPMED Network (which also in coordination with other 3 SEAMEO TROPMED Centres in Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand), and SEAMEO Secretariat.
In the meeting SEAMEO Secretariat emphasized that SEAMEO units need to consider “looking out” or to learn from the keynote speakers from international organizations on the emerging education policy trends, needs, and priorities, and “looking in” or to explore the current policy research initiatives of the different SEAMEO Centres along the SEAMEO Seven Priority Areas. Mr Wesley Teter, a representative from UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, presented important trends in Asia-Pacific that influenced policy making for example rapid economic growth, widening income disparities, increased mobility and migration. Mr Teter shared relevant policies and researches, particularly in higher education. Another perspective was also presented by Mr Vignesh Louis Naidu, the Operations Director of HEAD Foundation based in Singapore. He provided his perspective on the needed research niches in particular, Higher Education and TVET. On global citizenship characteristics promotion, Professor Dr Chanita Rukspollmuang, the Assistant Vice President of Siam University Thailand shared her perspective as an education administrator and a teacher on how to educate the next generations for the future.
The CPRN Task Force meeting was also facilitated by Dr Jesus Fernandez Deputy Director, SEAMEO BIOTROP and Prof Dr Ma Sandra B Tempongko, Deputy Coordinator, SEAMEO TROPMED Network. They moderated the discussions on Terms of Reference (TOR) of SEA-CPRN TF, the SEAMEO research needs and research agenda and the CPRN Interim Secretariat. SEAMEO Secretariat circulated the draft CPRN Plan of Action from 2018 to 2020 for further consideration at 2018 SEAMEO Centre’s Directors Meeting.
During the meeting the participants discussed on how these research agenda can be pursued— whether it should be conducted by a certain Centre or becoming the Centrewide policy research agenda collaboratively conducted by every center. Furthermore, the meeting discussed on members of the Task Force. The participants consensually agreed that the members of the Network must be all SEAMEO Centres but some commented that Task Force members should include only a few Centres to be responsive to the assigned tasks. However, most participants (15 Centres) viewed that Task Force members should be comprised of all SEAMEO Centres to create sense of belongings and responsibility to the Network. This matter will be proposed to the SEAMEO Centre Directors Meeting for consideration in 2018.