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Lao, Malaysian universities partner to strengthen social research

Lao lecturers and specialists from Malaysia’s University of Malaya gathered in Vientiane on Wednesday for a three-day meeting to share experiences in social research, aiming to build the capacity of trainers in this field.
The “First Training of Trainers for Building Social Research Capacities in Higher Education Institutions in Laos and Malaysia” (BRECIL) is taking place at the National University of Laos (NUOL) from September 4-6.
NUOL Vice President, Associate Prof. Dr Somchanh Bounphanmy, and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Letters, Associate Prof. Dr Bounleuth Sengsoulin, are attending the session. The initiative is a multi-country Erasmus+ CBHE joint project involving higher education institutions from European Union and Asean countries.
It focuses on the development of research and innovative capacities for good research governance and management through capacity building in higher education systems.
The project is taking place from October 2017 to October 2020. The Asia-Europe Institute, University of Malaya, is leading the project with three EU partners, two Lao partners and another Malaysian partner from higher education institutions.
BRECIL aims to build research capacities in Lao universities, enhance research governance in Malaysia and Laos, and innovate new research developments through ICT technologies.
Speaking at the meeting, Assoc. Prof. Dr Somchanh said that building research capacities is one of the key strategies for higher education institutions to achieve high-quality research and academic performance, in order to closely integrate into regional and international developments.
Research design and practical know-how are critical to academics’ professional development. But knowing how to conduct research is not enough. It is imperative that researchers, academics and faculty members can manage, disseminate, sustain and apply research findings for purposes such as policy articulation and social improvement.
Research findings should be used to improve teaching and learning activities. Conducting and disseminating research findings is crucial for institutions to provide a higher quality of education and increase international visibility for both academics and institutions, Assoc. Prof. Dr Somchanh said.
“As we are living in an increasingly interconnected world where borders are fading away, sharing and collaborating in research within the region or cross-continent enables researchers and institutions not only to be exposed to new knowledge, but also research challenges, on which we can work collaboratively to unlock mysteries and produce benefits for the general public,” he added.
“This training workshop will enable us to refresh and acquire new research skills and techniques which will be useful for participants’ academic activities and sharing with other faculty members, especially younger researchers.”
“I urge all participants to take this valuable opportunity to observe, exchange, collaborate with and learn from experts from the University of Malaya and others so we can enhance our research capacity,” he added.

By Phomphong Laoin
(Latest Update September 6, 2019)

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