In the first decade of the 21st century, there is consensus on the fact that higher education and the university in particular must undergo a profound transformation with a view to achieving their objectives in the time of globalization and the society of knowledge.
In this process, international cooperation is seen as one of the most valuable instruments to help the future generations to develop the competence that is required by their future workplace: the world. Disciplinary competence must be complemented by new abilities so as to understand our cultural, economic and social differences and gain access to a changing productive process that is less hierarchical and leans towards network organization and teams comprised of professionals from several fields. In addition, such competence must be developed while instilling solidarity values and universalistic ethics.
Aware of this reality, UMAP, since its foundation in 1991 and since its official start in 1998, has regarded educational cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region as the key element of the core of its operations and vision. Its mission is to support university exchange programs and to enable the students to understand first-hand the cultural, economic and social systems of the region, based on cooperation among higher education institutions.
Looking towards its 10th anniversary, UMAP has devised a strategic plan 2007-2010, and has included in it a new paradigm that serves as the inspiration for the future direction of this renowned organization that has now become the most important international network in the realm of student mobility in the Asia- Pacific region.
In my capacity as Chair of UMAP, I hereby undertake to increase the participation of the Latin American countries that are eligible for UMAP membership by integrating the universities of Mexico, Ecuador, Chile and Peru into the use of the UMAP credit transfer scheme and the exchange of students, professors and information regarding the best practices for higher education internationalization in the Asia-Pacific region.
nspired by the philosophy of UMAP, I am certain that the universities of the Asia-Pacific region now have the opportunity to better serve our societies if we undertake to encourage academic cooperation while paying special attention to student mobility with three fundamental elements: quality, relevance and equality.
Colima , Colima , 31 october 2006
PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF COLIMA