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AULP 2013 The Asian University Leaders Program (AULP) will be held at the Chung Chi Administration Building on The Chinese University of Hong Kong from 28 January to 1 February 2013. AULP is designed to engage participants in exploring five main themes: (a) Global Challenges in Asian Higher Education; (b) University Leadership/Governance/Ethical Issues; (c) Christian Presence/Contextual Excellence; (d) Academic Programs/ Partnerships; and (e) Fund Raising/ Donation Management. It also seeks to enable a direct and personal exchange of information and analyses, and sharing of good practices among leaders especially on what it means to actualize Asian Christian presence in higher education. For AULP 2013, the theme is “Whole Person Education: Practices, Challenges and Prospects for Higher Education in Asia.” In a sense, the concept of “Whole Person Education” captures the vision of the United Board to promote Christian presence in higher education in Asia. Christian presence in higher education is after all about actualizing whole person education – grounded in the belief that each person has been created in the image of God and deserves to grow as a whole person (physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually). Whole person education also takes the Asian sense that a person grows as a whole only in right and just relationships with oneself and with one’s community and environment. Concern for just relationships therefore includes the promotion of gender equity. So the concept of “whole person education” permeates and connects all the priorities and initiatives of the United Board – i.e. Interreligious Understanding and Peacebuilding (IUP), Environment and Health (EH), and Teaching of Humanities including Local Knowledge (TH-LK). The idea of “whole person education” is not totally new. Institutions that have had a strong foundation in liberal arts education may consciously have been guided by the concept of whole person education through the years. Many of the United Board’s partner institutions mention whole person education as part of their motto, vision or mission. Whole person education is a conscious response to the more specialized and compartmentalized approach in education that focuses only on the transmission of knowledge and skills required by a particular disciple. Whole person education seeks to expose students to multiple disciplines, complementary studies, and integrated programs as well as critical and creative thinking. Whole person education aims at overcoming the tendency of education to separate head from heart, intelligence from spirituality, theory from practice, local knowledge from academic knowledge, skills from ethics, etc. One of the United Board’s responses to the tendency of compartmentalizing education is Service Learning – which brings together formal classroom study with actual immersion in and service to the community. Learning does not only happen within the classroom. More learning actually happens when students serve in the community. In fact, students get to apply or test out their classroom learning by being in and with the wider community. Needless to say that service is a noble Christian virtue that Christian higher education institutions would surely uphold. By going to the community, students may develop better appreciation for whole person education that affects not only themselves but also the local community and the environment. Objectives AULP 2013 will be an opportunity for university or college trustees, presidents, vice presidents, deans and key support staff to: Reexamine their institutions’ articulation and demonstration of Christian presence, whole person education, and academic excellence; Share experiences of best and workable practices in whole person education and reflect on outcomes; and Consider the contextual approaches to management and leadership in their institutions; Form a support network of school administrators in the region.
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