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Exploring Future-Proof Education in Thailand ITC Delegation's Visit to Greater Bangkok Region

Fostering collaborations and embracing innovation is key to ensuring a future-proof learning environment

In the dynamic landscape of education, fostering collaborations and embracing innovation is key to ensuring a future-proof learning environment. In the third week of January, a delegation consisting of Dinand Alkema, David Korringa and Freek van der Meer visited several organizations in Bangkok (Thailand) to discuss future-proof education.

Freek van der Meer, Dean ITC

It is amazing that we have several organizations in Thailand with whom we have had a longstanding collaboration for over 20 years based on mutual trust and alignment of goals. Thailand is a great and pleasant country to work that holds great promise for the future.

Freek van der Meer, Dean ITC

One of the highlights of the visit was the meeting with Dr. Pakong, the Director of the Thai space agency GISTDA. Discussions centred around a new joint education partnership that included staff and student mobility schemes and a link to third-party scholarships from OCSC (the Thai scholarship provider). The delegation also had the privilege of visiting the newly constructed Space Krenovation Park in Chonburi. The park houses GISTDA's satellite testing and control facility, a training centre, and a space museum designed to support the entire Asian region.

An alumni dinner hosted by the Netherlands Association of Alumni from Thailand (NAAT) brought former students from ITC, ISS, and IHS together. This gathering fostered networking and highlighted the enduring relationships established over the years.

The delegation also explored collaboration opportunities with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) to draft a white paper addressing climate resilience in small countries and island states, aligning with the programs of global funding agencies.

During a network lunch organized by the Netherlands embassy, the delegation had the opportunity to interact with the Deputy Ambassador and Agricultural Councilor. The event, part of a "Connecting Minds for Low-Carbon Cities" seminar, facilitated discussions on shared goals and collaborations. An important milestone was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Faculty of Social Sciences of Kasetsart University, which hosts the Department of Geography and is setting up a Master's in Geoinformatics. In this meeting, they offered us two summer camp positions.

Renewing Collaborations with AIT: The visit concluded with a meeting at the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), where discussions with the Vice President for Development and the Executive Director of the Office of International and Public Affairs centred around renewing the AIT-ITC MOU. The delegation also visited the AIT geoinformatics centre, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Overall, organizations with which we have had 20 years or more of collaboration, hopefully for many more decades. Note that most were very eager to learn more about our Geoversity plans, also as a possible way to train their own staff.