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UNINET Background

The UNINET Strategic Action Plan 2017-2021 (USAP 2017-2021) draws upon UNINET’s wealth of experience gained over the past 20 years of operation in order to chart a new and relevant course for its work within the IMT-GT context.

From the outset of IMT-GT’s formation, one of the key growth strategies underlined by IMT-GT in enhancing the economic development of IMT-GT, aimed to establish a strong collaboration with universities in the subregion. It was, and still believed, that higher education can generate broader economic growth as well as individual success.

UNINET was formed in 1996 by IMT-GT and initially comprised eight universities in the network: Universitas Syiah Kuala (UNSYIAH), Universitas Sumatera Utara (USU) and Universitas Andalas (UNAND) from Indonesia; Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) from Malaysia; Prince of Songkla University (PSU) and Thaksin University (TSU) from Thailand. Universitas Riau (UNRI), also from Indonesia, joined the faction in 2003.

UNINET has remained a valued strategic component for IMT-GT.

The IMT-GT Context

UNINET does not operate in isolation. Instead, it is rooted in Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) as both a valued stakeholder and as a key strategic component within IMT-GT’s Vision 2036 Guiding Framework, capable of providing strategic leadership in fostering people-to-people connectivity and in generating innovative applied research solutions that are capable of supporting the commercial and practical needs of both the private sector and governments.

The IMT-GT Vision 2036 and its Guiding Framework are analysed in detail to provide the full context and setting for the formulation of the USAP 2017-2021, which has been developed to align with IMT-GT’s own strategic direction. Specific examples are highlighted in the strategic role that UNINET can play and the stated approaches that it can adopt.

UNINET Guiding Framework

A shared Strategy
The USAP 2017-2021 is a shared strategy. Shared in terms of its alignment with IMT-GT’s own strategy and shared with UNINET’s stakeholders in the way it has been formulated through a participatory engagement process with member universities, the private sector, local governments, CIMT and other stakeholders. Four workshops were held in the period 2015-2017 and, in a separate point of engagement, valuable feedback was obtained from IMT-GT Senior Officials and Ministers at their meeting in Phang Nga, Thailand in early September 2016.

Guided by a Guiding Framework
At the centre of the USAP 2017-2021 is a Guiding Framework that outlines a vision, goals, objectives, strategies, strategic activities and projects that work from the bottom up to achieve the desire top level outcomes and impact for the people living in the IMT-GT subregion. Crucially, the Guiding Framework adopts a new thematic approach in which the goals are established to achieve intentional outcomes that reinforce both UNINET and IMT-GT’s competitive advantage in certain areas and therefore have the greatest propensity to have a transformational impact on the subregion from both a sustainable economic and social development perspective.

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