PSU’s Phuket Campus joins ASTRA: an Erasmus+ project for improving staff capacity to access research funding in IT and social sciences


     The Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism at PSU’s Phuket Campus represents the university in the ASTRA (Advancing Strategic Management, Leadership and Fundraising in Higher Education in Asia) program. ASTRA is funded by Erasmus+ to further the mission of empowering operations in higher education. The program officially commenced in January 2021, with an expected duration of three years.

       The overall purpose of the ASTRA project is to support the operations of higher education institutions in Laos and Thailand to increase the capacity of staff to access funding for research related to information technology and social sciences. The project involves eight partners from five countries in the European Union and Southeast Asia, namely the National University of Laos, Savannakhet University, Prince of Songkla University, Chiang Mai University, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Athens University of Economics and Business, Symplexis, and BK Consult.

       The immediate goal is to train 60 academics from Laos and Thailand about accessing funds, and more than 500 academics and experts through dissemination and exploitation activities, including the establishment of four new research and development innovation centers (two in Thailand and two in Laos).

        Progress is measured in terms of institutions having joint research on the specific needs of the environment in higher education in Laos and Thailand related to governance and financing. Part of the research consisted of interviews of academic and administrative staff, including those involved in Laos and Thailand. The results from the research led specialist in Economics and Business at the University of Athens to develop regional strategies in terms of funding capacity, research, and quality of public engagement by further adapting to the needs of universities in Southeast Asia.

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