Taylor’s University has awarded ASEAN Scholarships to students from Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia to study for a Masters/PhD that focus on issues facing tourism development.
(centre) Dr Neethia Ragavan (Executive Dean) with the recipients in Thailand
The 37th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), was held in Chiang Mai (Thailand), and the week-long event included meetings of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers, National Tourism Organisations (NTOs), private sector groups, as well as bilateral meetings with dialogue partners such as Russia, China, Japan, India and South Korea. Taylor’s University initiated the foundation of the ASEAN Tourism Research Association (ATRA), and this year ATRA was invited to attend as a ‘recognised’ Civil Society Organisation (CSO) to ASEAN.
Being a CSO means that ATRA is now regarded as the leading network of higher education institutions serving the goals of sustainable tourism development in ASEAN. The focus is on capacity-building, and developing quality education in tourism and research. At ATF 2017 in Singapore, ATRA launched the first ASEAN Scholarship for Tourism (AST) initiative. Five member institutions of ATRA offered scholarships at Masters and PhD levels for the recipients who would focus their research on ASEAN Tourism themes. As the successful candidates were selected in mid-2017, the ATF 2018 event was the first opportunity to officially acknowledge the recipients of the scholarships in the presence of the 10-ASEAN member countries. Three scholarship recipients are studying at Taylor’s University, and include Chuob Ratana from Cambodia, Le Thi Phuong Anh from Vietnam, and Afdal Izal from Malaysia.
Ms Anh expressed her “immense gratitude to the AST scheme that fulfilled the dream of taking up a Master’s Degree in another South-East Asia country, and learn from the expertise in Malaysia’. Dr. Neethia Ari Ragavan, the ATRA President and Executive Dean of Hospitality, Food and Leisure at TU said: “supporting these scholarships is part of ATRA’s commitment to the development of expertise in Tourism Research in ASEAN”.