The Asian University Presidents Forum originates from a friendly association beginning in December 1999 between institutions of higher learning in China and in Thailand.
In order to establish a mechanism through which university presidents in China and Thailand could frequently interchange information and exchange management experience regarding their respective institutions of higher learning, Zhuang Mingying, the President of Chaoshan College, and Sumonta Promboon, then president of Srinakharinwirot University, jointly put forward the idea of establishing a conference for cooperation between university presidents in China and Thailand.
It was proposed that the conference would be held annually and would in time extend to include university presidents throughout the whole of Asia. This idea was approved by Xu Zhenhua, then President of Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, and by Pornchal Mongkhonvanit, then President of Siamese University of Thailand. On 30 November 2000, Zhuang Mingying, then President of Chaoshan College in Guangdong province, made a special trip to Thailand to consult with Srinakharinwirot President Sumonta Promboon. They shared identical views on the following matters:
Four institutions, namely Srinakharinwirot University of Thailand
(state-owned), Siamese University of Thailand (private-owned), Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China (state-owned), and Chaoshan College in China (private-owned), should be regarded as initiating members. Other institutions which developed cooperative relationships could join as basic members. Membership should gradually be extended to other Asian universities.
The first forum should be prepared and hosted by Srinakharinwirot University, with participants to be invited by both Srinakharinwirot University and by Chaoshan College.
President Zhuang Mingying should draw up the constitution of the Forum, bearing the title of â€œThe Constitution of Nongovernmental Cooperation between Universities of China and Those of Thailand.â€
The Forum constitution was finalized in 2002, and in 2003 it was renamed as â€œThe Constitution of Asian Presidents Forum.â€ The constitution was officially passed following discussions and was signed by all the participating presidents attending the Forum. In 2009, the constitution assumed its current form through revisions and supplementations made based on practical experience gained through the annual holding of the Forum. The name given to the first Forum held by Srinakharinwirot University in 2000 was â€œCooperation Conference between Universities of China and those of Thailand,â€ since those were the only two countries involved at that time. However, when the second forum was held by Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China, participants from six Asian countries attended, and the conference was therefore renamed as â€œAsian University Presidents Forum.â€
Since 2002, the Forum has continued to be held annually, with each session raising new ideas. Membership has expanded to include institutions of higher learning from various countries and regions. Exchange and cooperation between member institutions has also expanded in both extent and type, with the Forum playing an active role in the establishment of communication and cooperation relationships. Indeed, the Forum has been successful in achieving its goal of helping Asian institutions of higher learning â€œcommunicate with each other, interchange information, exchange experiences and realize common developmentâ€.
In accordance with the requirements of the Constitution of the Forum, host institutions should work diligently to fully prepare and arrange the Forum. They should invite superiors in charge of higher learning to attend the Forum, who may choose to prepare and submit papers for presentation at the Forum on the themes or subthemes decided by the host institution. These presentations and their subsequent discussions contribute to the overall success of the Forum.