Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
On Thursday, November 29 and Friday, November 30, a delegation from Burapha University, Thailand, visited Brock University in order to renew our institutional agreement. Brock was pleased to welcome Dr. Sompol Pongthai, President; Dr. Suchart Upatham, Past President and Current President’s Advisor; and Dr. Rana Pongruengphat, Dean of the International College.
The delegates from Burapha came to Canada for the sole purpose of visiting Brock and renewing our long-standing, successful partnership. During their visit, they were able to tour Niagara, as well as spend two days at Brock. They participated in a comprehensive campus tour, with a keen interest in the organization of our Residences. Dr. Rana is in the process of building an international student residence at Burapha and was inspired by Brock’s Decew Residence, which houses a number of student service areas on the main floor.
Dr. David Brown, Associate Professor and International Program Coordinator, Tourism and Environment, works closely with colleagues at Burapha and will be taking seven students on a study-abroad trip to Burapha next term. The delegates met with Dr. Brown and other faculty members from Tourism and Environment to discuss details of the new semester-abroad program for Brock students. They also discussed other areas for future collaboration, so that we can continue to expand on what has already become a well-established relationship.
The delegates had the chance to meet with the Directors of Brock’s International Offices, in order to discuss possible areas for collaboration, such as the implementation of a Dual Degree program or a tri-lateral agreement with a partner institution in Vietnam, both of which would offer further study-abroad opportunities for Brock students.
The delegates met with Dr. Jack Lightstone, President of Brock University, and took part in a formal Signing Ceremony, wherein Dr. Lightstone, Dr. Sompol, Dr. Rana, and Dr. Gregory Finn, Associate Vice-President Academic at Brock, signed an Institutional Agreement Renewal. The Ceremony was followed by a Brunch Reception, and the delegates were able to speak with several Brock faculty members who have been connected to Burapha, as well as students who will be participating in the Burapha study-abroad program next term.
Brock faculty members have been collaborating with colleagues at Burapha since the late 1980s, initially in the area of Applied Linguistics and English Language Teaching. In 1994, Brock and Niagara College partnered to pursue a Thai-Canadian CIDA-HRSDC project focussed on environmental, science (including chemistry and marine biology), and business training and education with our colleagues at Burapha (formerly Bangsaen Educational College) and were awarded over one million dollars toward Brock’s first major international collaborative project.
Over the years, a number of Burapha students have come to study at Brock, and Brock students have visited Burapha during Tourism and Environment semester-abroad opportunities. Dr. Rana, who visited Brock 10 years ago, currently collaborates with retired Brock Psychology Professor Dr. Paul Tyson.
Burapha (located in Chonburi Region, East of Bangkok) was formed at around the same time as Brock, and has experienced some similarities throughout our histories. Like Brock, Burapha started primarily as a teacher’s college, but they have grown to a major force in the eastern seaboard as a comprehensive university with nearly 50,000 students.