During the June 2020 ACUCA Executive Committee meeting, the officers and the members of the executive board warmly welcome five new Christian academic institutions into the fold. Hokusei Gakuen University, Tokyo Woman's Christian University, Widya Mandira Catholic University, and Universitas Kristen Indonesia have been accepted since June 22 into the now 69-member association. The fifth Christian institution is the Wesleyan University-Philippines which was formally accepted during the 24th ACUCA General Assembly last November 7, 2019.
Hokusei Gakuen University is a private university located in Sapporo, Japan. It traces its roots to 1887 when a missionary of the United Presbyterian Church of North America, Sarah C. Smith, founded the Smith Girls' School. After several expansions, the Hokusei Gakuen University was founded in year 1962. Hokusei which means north star was derived from the biblical reference "Shine like stars in a dark world" and points to the Protestant educational philosophy of the university. Headed by its President, Dr. Ikuo Daibo, the university has grown to around 4,000 students across three undergraduate schools: humanities, economics, and social welfare. It also provides a variety of study-abroad programs and welcomes international students to its campus.
Hokusei Gakuen University campus located in Sapporo, Japan
Meanwhile, Tokyo Woman's Christian University is a higher learning institution for women located in Tokyo, in Japan. Founded in 1918 with a modest beginning of 76 women, the enrolment grew gradually to include international students. Currently, with a total approximately 4,000 students, 12 majors in School of Art and Sciences, Tokyo Woman's Christian University has constantly provided its female students with precious opportunities for higher education based on Christianity promoting the liberal arts studies essential for women to be positive and independent. Headed by its President, Dr. Kazu-hiro Mori, Tokyo Woman's Christian University's goals have been the education for women in liberal arts, the promotion of internationalism and global outlook, and the advancement of Christian principles.
Tokyo Woman’s Christian University campus located in Tokyo, Japan
Widya Mandira Catholic University (Universitas Katolik Widya Mandira) is a private higher education institution, founded by a Catholic Foundation known as Yayasan Pendidikan Katolik Arnoldus (Arnoldus Catholic Educational Foundation) in 1982 and located in the city of Kupang (Timor), eastern Indonesia. It is recognized by the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, and also accredited by the National Board of Accreditation for the Tertiary Education (Badan Akreditasi Nasional - Perguruan Tinggi or BAN-PT). The University has a population of over 8.000 students. Headed by its President Rev. Fr. Dr. Philipus Tule, SVD, the University constantly holds its vision to be an educational and academic community, which is excellent and creative based on Christian and local values with global orientation. Widya Mandira is much more than just a name. Hidden within this name (Widya means knowledge and Mandira means tower), there is a special meaning and mission to be a "Tower of Knowledge". It is the University's mission to serve with heart, based on the Gospel of John (10,10): "... that they may have life in abundance" (Ut Vitam Habeant Abundantius).
Widya Mandira Catholic University in Kupang, Indonesia
Located in Jakarta Indonesia, Christian University of Indonesia (Universitas Kristen Indonesia) was founded in 1953 as a result of the establishment of Indonesia Council of Churches shortly after the independence of Indonesia in 1945. With a total student population of more than 4,300 students, the university maintains two main campuses: Campus A is located in Central Jakarta and Campus B in Cawang, East Jakarta. Headed by its Rektor, Dr. Dhaniwara Harjono, S.H., M.H., M.B.A., Universitas Kristen Indonesia (UKI) continues to pursue its mission of improving the quality of its graduates with integrity and competency in their fields to be able to compete in the global era. On October 15, 2018, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Ir. H. Joko Widodo attended and gave an opening speech at the 65th anniversary of the Universitas Kristen Indonesia.
UKI Rektor, Dr. Dhaniwara Harjono with the President of the Rep. of Indonesia, Ir. H. Joko Widodo
Wesleyan University-Philippines is an autonomous university which offers 45 degree programs; of which, 13 have licensure examinations. It was founded on July 1, 1946 as Philippine Wesleyan College. Today it has over 10,000 students in two campuses, Cushman Campus in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, and Maria Aurora Campus in the Province of Aurora. Under the leadership of President Benjamin D. Turgano, the university continues its mission of providing its brand of quality education imbued with Wesleyan spirituality. Its priorities are its (a) strong advocacy for the care of the environment; (b) commitment to uphold and defend liberal arts education; and determination to reposition the university to be able to navigate its directions as a Christian university in the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
A traditional “dance of thanksgiving and celebration” by Tribu Wesleyan during the University’s 74th Foundation Anniversary. In many ways, this photo defines the education in WUP which aims not only to fill the basket – the minds of its students -- but to instill in them the values of hardwork, the importance of community, and the reliance upon God’s grace.
April 27, 2020
Having been alerted to the threat of the coronavirus since early February of 2020, the Assumption University (AU) of Thailand took immediate steps to mitigate the spread of the virus on its campus by activating to a fuller extent its Online Learning Management System. The system allows video conferencing of faculty members with their respective students on specified time and ensuring that the activity of teaching and learning goes on uninterrupted on an ad-hoc basis. “The full-online learning mode for its degree programs took effect on March 16, 2020 following the recommendation of the Thai Council of University Presidents and such is expected to continue to be implemented during the first semester, June – October 2020, Dir. Chatelier said. Its students from China and other parts of the world were advised to remain in their home countries and requested to participate in the virtual classes instead.
Sensitive of the difficulties that the students may be experiencing, the university administration extends various forms of assistance. Specifically, to monitor the well- being of its students, the university provides mental and spiritual counseling services to those who need them. Within Academic Units, the Coordinators for Student Services activated online systems of Counseling particularly for two types of students, the international students who were stuck overseas, unable to report back to the University, and for those international students who were in Bangkok, unable to go home. In both cases the strategies carried out were to feed information on updates via the University website, the faculty website, and through the website of the office of International Affairs( www.oia.au.edu ). The University’s Department of Student Affairs through its seasoned counselors provided immediate counseling to students via Zoom platforms and through teleconferences. The students, Thai and non-Thai were also offered counseling options through the neighboring Buddhist temples, Christian Churches while the two Chapels on either of the campuses were open all through the day for those who needed to seek silent prayer and spiritual recourse. Characteristic issues which arose among students were fear of isolation during the lockdowns, inertia issues due to lack of exercise, separation from loved ones, and sometimes dietary stress. The University’s Campus Ministers and the Chaplain were ready at all times to react to student calls for either counselling, or advice on faith issues and personal matters. At the level of the Graduate Schools, the program in Counselling Psychology set up hotlines, and immediate Zoom access for the Graduate students who needed attention. The dialogic value of the interactions between student stress reach-outs and the capacities of the staff and faculty to relate to them during the COVID 19, underscored one of the values
of the Catholic identity of Assumption University. The university is indeed “alma mater” particularly when its students are in need or distressed. “We cannot fulfil entirely the students needs but we are there to listen, to cheer up, to empathize, to offer suggestions and possible solutions,” Director Chatelier shared. The University emerges as neighbour, not mere structure, as comfort provider, not, merely knowledge facilitator. The University is coach, mentor and fellow traveller in the pathways, unseemingly, as they are, in the COVID 19 crisis. University President Rev. Brother Bancha Saenghiran, in the best stroke of the Good Samaritan extended to all Undergraduate enrolees a 25% Scholarship till October 2020, while assuring all Faculty and Staff of equitable emoluments, with no deductions whatsoever. “Let it not be left unsaid that we prevail in our faith in God our Father, and in Jesus our Lord and Savior to stand with us in these times, and to help us extend our hands of assistance to those who need it in our community and elsewhere,” Director Chatelier said.
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Hannam University was once against confirmed as a bona fide gateway to entrepreneurship with a fourth-place ranking on a nationwide university entrepreneurship index. Hannam placed fourth in a June 14 assessment of 247 four-year and 170 two-year higher education institutions in South Korea by Maeil Business News. Its strong performance in the area of entrepreneurship included a first-place ranking for sales by faculty start-ups, a sixth-place ranking for student entrepreneurship support funding, and a tenth-place ranking for number of student entrepreneurs and student start-ups. “Our first-place ranking nationwide on the university entrepreneurship index is the result of hard work by all of our university’s members, who strove to make our university the top force in entrepreneurship,” said Hannam University President Lee Duk-hoon. Lee also said the university would “continue to work nonstop until we are the country’s top-ranked university for entrepreneurship, including areas such as angel clubs and technology transfers.” Hannam University doubled its number of entrepreneurship classes from 74 to 143 between 2017 and 2018, while the number of start-up clubs rose from 75 all the way to 115. Since the 2018 academic year, it has instituted “Understanding Entrepreneurship” as a general education requirement.
Hannam University ranked 31st nationwide and first among private universities in the Daejeon/Chungcheong region in a survey of university brand reputation. The result was based on a Korea Corporate Reputation Institute analysis of 84,536,158 items of brand-related big data for 100 major four-year universities in South Korea over a one-month period from March 27 to April 28. For the brand reputation assessment, big data on brand-related consumer activities were sorted into participation value, communication value, social value, market value, and financial value categories.
The introduction of Hannam University “Daniel Scholarships” as a financial aid program for undergraduates is drawing major attention. In addition to covering tuition in full from entrance to graduation, the scholarships also offer benefits including 4 million won per year for books, free dormitory use, and full financial aid upon general graduate school admission. Over 450 million won in benefits have been paid to date. The scholarships were funded when the full amount saved by discontinuing the official presidential vehicle system was invested in financial aid. With President Lee Duk-hoon now traveling to work on foot, the creation of the Daniel Scholarships means that the yearly costs of 150 million won spent covering rental fees, gas, and other charges for his exclusive vehicle service are now being returned to the students.
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