The Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning (ASAIHL) was founded in 1956 as a non-governmental organization at a meeting in Bangkok of the heads of eight state universities in Southeast Asia. Field Marshal Pibulsongkram, the Prime Minister, supported its foundation and approved setting up the Secretariat in Thailand. His government began by giving financial and material support, which continued for several years until the Association had other sources of funds. More recently, in addition to physical facilities, the Thai government has been supporting the Association with a grant of USD 5,000 annually.
ASAIHL's purpose is to assist member institutions to strengthen themselves through mutual self-help and to achieve international distinction in teaching, research and public service. In so doing, the institutions contribute strength to their respective nations and to the entire region. Specifically, the Association exists to foster the development of the institutions themselves, the cultivation of a sense of regional identity and interdependence and liaison with other regional and international organizations concerned with research and teaching. It serves as a clearing-house of information; provides regular opportunities for the discussion of academic development and general university development; assists member institutions in the recruitment and placement of faculty and staff, exchanges of professors and students and in the development of co-operative arrangements on specific projects; provides advisory services of consultants; strengthens the relationship with regional and international bodies and keeps member institutions informed about developments in the region; and recognizes and acknowledges distinctive achievements among Southeast Asian institutions of higher education.
Established in 1971, Soka University has developed advanced academic curricula and support systems recognizing that students' needs are paramount. Located in Hachioji, a suburb of Tokyo, our verdant campus provides an optimal learning environment and offers one of the most comprehensive and international exchange programs in Japan.
Soka University has concluded academic exchange agreements with 192 universities from 58 countries and regions as of August 2017. Currently, over 550 international students from 58 countries and regions are enrolled at the university.
Soka University was selected as one of the universities for the Go Global Japan Project in 2012 and also for the Top Global University Project in 2014 by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, Sports and Technology (MEXT). These two initiatives were launched to enhance the global competitiveness of Japanese universities (higher education throughout Japan), to facilitate system reforms, and to foster capable global individuals.
In Spring 2018, the ASAIHL Conference will be held in Japan for the very first time, with Soka University as the host university. We are truly honored to assume this significant role and are determined to take full responsibility for a successful conference.
The main theme is “Higher Education for Diversity and Global Citizenship,” and the sub-themes are the following:
ASAIHL plays a significant role as the source of valuable insight and inspiration for the development of higher education not only in Southeast Asia but also throughout the world.
We sincerely hope for and are working hard in making this conference held at Soka University a meaningful and a successful one.
President Yoshihisa Baba