November 15, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. – Khon Kaen University joined 8 universities in the Northeast including Kalasin University, Nakhonpanom University, Mahasarakham University, Rajabhat University Mahasarakham, Rajabhat University Roi-et, Rajabhat University Loei, Rajabhat University Sakonnakhon, and Rajabhat University Udonthani, at a conference that aimed at developing sustainable communities (Sustainability for All) and to conclude the lesson learned from the University to Tambon (U2T) Project. Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of the University conveyed the reporting speech. Dr. Somsak Jungtrakoon, Khon Kaen Governor welcomed Professor Anek Laothammathat, Ph.D., Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation to the Conference. Governors of 15 provinces attended: Kalasin, Chaiyaphum, Nakhonpanom, Buengkan, Mahasarakham, Mukdahan, Roi-et, Loei, Srisaket, Surin, Nongkhai, Nongbualamphu, Amnatjaroen, and Udonthani, along with local administrators, university administrators, lecturers, students, Project employees, enterprises, and the public totaling over 100 people. The Conference took place onsite at Hall 1-3, Khon Kaen International Convention and Exhibition Center, and online by electronics media.
Assoc. Prof. Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, M.D., President of the University said that Khon Kaen University has been assigned by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation to carry out the University to Tambon Project (U2T) in order to upgrade the sub-districts according to the agreement of the Cabinet at the October 6, 2020 meeting. The objectives of this project are to improve the socio-economic conditions of sub-districts with universities in the region as the system integrator, to increase employment, restore the economic and social conditions in many aspects according to the problems and needs of the community, and to produce the Community Big Data. The project administration involves employment of 20 positions per sub-district, and carries out 4 major activities in: 1) developing honest livelihood and building job opportunities, 2) developing creative Economy, 3) promoting environment and economy, and 4) using knowledge to serve the communities. There are also training and workshops of necessary skills for future occupations for the employees under the project. The project lasts 11 months (February to December, 2021). “Khon Kaen University is responsible for 135 sub-districts in 13 provinces and is the node for the implementation of the network of Upper Isan Universities. The total number of sub-districts under the network is 395. There are 20 employees employed at each sub-district, totaling 7,900 people. These are divided into 1,975 students, 3,950 newly graduates, and 1,975 villagers. The implementation has been integrated with cooperation from many organizations both inside and outside the university including the government sector, the private sector, the people in the area, and 9 universities in the Northeast including Khon Kaen University. The project has been ongoing for 10 months up to now. This conference has been planned in order to present the outcomes of the project, to exhibit and sell the products, inventions and innovations that arise from the project. This event is called “Sustainability for all: The Lesson Learned from the University to Tambon (U2T) Project”, which is held on November 15-17, 2021. There are altogether 152 exhibitions of products and innovations that are the results of the technology transfer from the universities. The event would build more chances of marketing and increase the competitive competency in manufacturing that will lead to sustainable development. The event organizers have invited relevant organizations to join in giving the exhibitions. There are banks and business sectors, with experts to give interesting talks and join in forums on different topics. It is hoped that this event would lead to sustainable development in the Northeast.”
Professor Anek Laothammathat, Ph.D., Minister of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation said in his opening address that he thanked Khon Kaen University for holding this event for all sub-districts to bring their products to exhibit under the U2T project. The products emerged from cooperation from all parts and they truly can upgrade the socio-economic conditions of the sub-districts. “We have seen the dedication and sacrifice in operating the U2T. The knowledge, technologies, and innovations from universities really help in upgrading the economy and society in the area. The employment helps solve the problem of unemployment and builds incomes for the households in the area. At the same time, those who are employed are also trained in skills and knowledge in different aspects that can be used to draw out their own potentials. They already know the situation of their birthplace and see what resources there are that can be used to build incomes or to create business opportunities. They learn that the knowledge received from the universities or the local wisdoms can be used to bring benefits to their own community, and then the community can rely on itself sustainably. I really hope that Khon Kaen University, the network universities, governmental departments, the private sector, and the locality will cooperate to carry out U2T project in order to solve the poverty problem in the community and restore the root economy of the Isan region for Sustainability for All.”
Dr. Somsak Jungtrakoon, Khon Kaen Governor said in his welcoming speech that the U2T Project has solved the problem and restore the economy in the communities. It helps build occupations, develop more occupations in order to circulate the economy at the community level. It supports each community to be able to rely on itself based on the community’s potential and needs. The governmental organizations, the private sector, Khon Kaen University, the network universities in the upper Isan region, have truly joined in restoring the economy in this regions and are the main power to improve the living of Isan people.
News / Photos: Communications Division