The Presidents of Asia Pacific Universities and Colleges Meeting was held in Chiang Rai, Thailand at XLC (Xavier Learning Community). The meeting was held for two days on the 18th and 19th of August 2017.
There were 32 delegates from each university and college who are the members of AJCU-AP (The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific). They are the delegates from Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Korea, China, Thailand, and Australia. The meeting aimed to discuss the progress and the challenges faced by each member of AJCU-AP, and the current issues related to the universities’ and colleges’ development.
The meeting was led by the President of Sanata Dharma University who has become the President of AJCU-AP, Johanes Eka Priyatma, M.Sc., Ph.D. In the meeting, he gave a welcoming speech in which he discussed the importance of a collaboration between the members of AJCU-AP. Besides, a welcoming speech was also delivered by Fr. A. Sugijo Pitoyo, SJ as the host of the AJCU-AP meeting in Chiang Rai, Thailand.
The AJCU-AP meeting was held for two days. For the first day, there were some activities filled with sharing about the progress and challenges faced by each member of AJCU-AP. On the same day, all the delegates did reflections about the opening of 36th Congregation General led by Fr. B. Nebres, SJ as the first speaker. The next schedule were reflecting on and planning about the SLP and GLP programs 2016 & 2017, which were led by Bapak FX. Ouda Teda Ena, S.Pd., M.Pd., Ed.D as the Secretary of AJCU-AP.
Other than that, the schedule of the second day was begun with the speaker who was Fr. B. Hari Juliawan, SJ about the Planning for Sustainability of Life Project. The agenda continued with the report of 2016 programs and the plans for 2018 programs of AJCU-AP. On this second day, it was also announced to open the XLC (Xavier Learning Community) in Chiang Rai, Thailand by the local bishop. This agenda was begun by a mass led by the local bishop and continued to bless the new building, cultural performances, and ended with a social dinner.
XLC (Xavier Learning Community) is a college which gives opportunities to the adolescents of the minority ethnic group in the North Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos who are impacted by the armed conflict. There are about 44 students who are presently learning at XLC from the Karen and Akha ethnic groups, Thailand. Out prayers are with them always. (TP).
Held in the Driyarkara Auditorium of Sanata Dharma University, the International Charity Concert 2016 was successfully conducted. This concert was one of the highlighted events that were part of the celebration of the 61th Dies Natalis of Sanata Dharma University. In conducting the concert, the participation of the audiences in watching the concert was also required. Fortunately, the enthusiasm of the audience was quite obvious, and was proven by the number watching the performance reaching almost six hundred people.
Held on November 19th, 2016, this International Charity Concert was a collaboration project between three universities; they were Sanata Dharma University, Elizabeth University of Music, and Indonesia Institute of Art. There were a number of performances in the concert. As the opening performance, Cantus Firmus, the students’ choir formed by and consisting of the students of Sanata Dharma University sung five songs and they successfully made the atmosphere of the International Charity Concert 2016. Then, after enjoying the choir performance, it was the time for the students from Elisabeth University of Music Japan to perform. The representatives of Elisabeth University of Music were piano major student Shiori Nakashima, vocal major student De Guzman Cipriano Jr. Mercado, and marimba major student Maho Ishida. In total, they performed ten songs. Lastly, as the closing performance, the students’ symphony of the Indonesia Institute of Art Yogyakarta, the Studsy Band conducted by Budhi Ngurah played five instrumental songs.
This International Charity Concert was aimed to help the students who have financial limitation to support their study in Sanata Dharma University. It was managed by Lembaga Kesejahteraan Mahasiswa or Student Welfare Unit. The host of this International Charity Concert, Sanata Dharma University, also hopes that the first charity concert will provide valuable experiences for each of us to better develop a similar program that may attract more people and agencies to collaborate with Sanata Dharma University. (Titis)
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific (AJCU-AP) has met for their annual meeting at Sanata Dharma University, Jogjakarta, Indonesia last August 11-12, 2016. The annual meeting was preceded by the Jesuit Conference in Asia Pacific (JCAP) Conference on the Sustainability of Life on August 8-10, 2016 at the same university.
The annual meeting of the AJCU-AP was attended by the chief executive officers of AJCU-AP’s charter and regular members from Australia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, and Thailand. The St. Aloysius Gonzaga Institute of Higher Studies of Myanmar, Myanmar Leadership Institute, and the Instituto Sao Joao de Brito of East Timor, were also inducted as new members into the Jesuit body.
Fr. Mark Raper, President of JCAP, delivered the annual meeting’s keynote speech which focused on the call for greater collaboration among Jesuit schools in the Asia Pacific.
In the meeting, the Board of Directors of the AJCU-AP has resolved that the body will be the institutional home of the Sustainability Movement headed by the JCAP in order for the body to provide institutional guidance to JCAP’s apostolic clusters in terms of collaboration.
The Board of Directors has also designated Ateneo de Manila University as the host of the 2017 Service Learning Program (SLP). The SLP, an AJCU-AP project, aims to promote a Jesuit brand of participative learning paradigm that propagates the service of the faith and the promotion of justice, appreciation of culture, and inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue. For its ninth iteration, it was resolved that the program will be working closely with the JCAP Sustainability Movement.
By the end of the meeting, Prof. Eka Priyatma of the Sanata Dharma University was elected as the new chairperson of the AJCU-AP. Prof. Priyatma replaces Fr. Joel Tabora of Ateneo de Davao University, who has served as the chair of the AJCU-AP for thirteen years.
The next CEO meeting of the AJCU-AP will be on August 18-20, 2017 in Thailand. Further details about the meeting will be announced at a later date by the AJCU-AP Secretariat.
With the changing landscape both of the Jesuits and of Asia Pacific societies, and the diversity of our educational conditions, languages, cultures, religions and local struggles, how can our institutions of higher learning cooperate to make an effective contribution to the one, global Jesuit mission? I have been asked to speak to this desire for greater collaboration among us in the context of General Congregation 36.
Mission and Governance
How we understand our mission should decide how we organise ourselves. The Jesuit mission is to serve the ‘Missio Dei’. This mission is clearly given in the Formula of the Institute, the final version of which dates back to 1550.
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Prof. Eka Priyatma
Universitas Sanata Dharma
<Curriculum Vitae [PDF]>
Dear Members of AJCU-AP: Continue Reading →
The Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities-Asia Pacific (AJCU-AP) slated the 8th Service Learning Program (SLP) with the host, Sogang University Seoul, South Korea last August 6 to August 16, 2015.
Nineteen delegates and 6 faculties from 7 universities participated in the three-week program. It gathered the Jesuit schools in the Asia Pacific region including Ateneo de Manila University, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Ateneo de Cagayan, Xavier University and Ateneo de Davao University, Philippines; Sanata Dharma University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan; and the host, Sogang University.
With the theme, “Social Engagement based on Justice through serving and caring,” this year’s SLP encouraged the participants to pursue the ideals of justice in their daily lives.
The SLP pushed 3 objectives. First was to provide opportunity for the delegates to understand people who come from different backgrounds through raising the consciousness of social diversity. Second objective was to foster the human resources needed to achieve the agenda of Jesuit education. Third, to develop engaged citizens who will create models for engaging diversity, democracy, interdependence, inequalities, and social challenges.
Moreover, program paved the way for the participants to continuously strive for key issues on sustainable development through community service. The participants served the homeless at Seoul station, volunteered at the House of Angel, House of Hope Hospital and experienced love in action through the Kkottongnae Program.
Min Kyung Kim, a delegate from Sogang University said, volunteering in Kkottongnae was really hard but she was very impressed because all other delegates joined sincerely.
“The participants are also really interested in Korean culture, I feel I have the responsibility to introduce Korea to them,” Kim added.
Kahlil Denise Alcomendras, a delegate from Ateneo de Davao University shared, the SLP in Korea especially in Kkottongnae have been a wonderful experience. It opened her mind and her heart to the different kinds of poverty in the society— emotional, spiritual, economic, mental and physical.
“I realized through this experience that only by being with God could fill up the poverty and the emptiness in you,” she added.
“I hope that I could bring back all of the learnings, all of the love that I learned here in Kkottongnae so I could practice love and action back in the Philippines,” she said.
The SLP promotes a Jesuit brand of participative learning paradigm that propagates the service of the faith and the promotion of justice, appreciation of culture, and inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.
Meanwhile, the AJCU–AP SLP 2016 will kick off on August 2 to August 20 with the theme: “Serving the City, Serving the People: Developing Youth’s Social Movement within Urban Communities.” It will be hosted by Sanata Dharma University.
The conference on sustainability was first mooted in the 2013 JCAP Extended Consult by three JCAP Networks (Buddhism, Islam & JCIM). The initiative was a response to Goal 3 of JCAP’s Outline of an Apostolic Plan 2014-2019 which calls for collaboration in mission. A year later in the 2014 JCAP’s Extended Consult (Oct 23-24), seven Networks- Secretaries (Buddhism, Islam, JCIM, Social Apostolate-Migration & Reconciliation with Creation (RWC), AJCU and FORMATION) deliberated on organizing this Conference. Fr. Joel Tabora’s call to make this a JCAP Conference was accepted. At the 2014 JCAP Extended Conference, Fr. Cyril Veliath, SJ gave a copy of the proposal to Fr. Mark Raper, SJ. The JCAP Consultors deliberated on the proposal and on January 12, 2015, Fr. Eric Villandria (JCAP Socius) met Jojo Fung regarding the comments of the JCAP Consult. At the Oct 23-24, 2015 JCAP Extended Consult, Pedro shared the concept paper and received many invaluable insights. The latest addition of Basic Education to this collaborate effort makes this initiative a truly Jesuit-led conference of Asia Pacific region.
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Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J.
July 10, 2015
Address delivered at the
2015 Melbourne Conference on Jesuit Higher Education Melbourne, Australia
This afternoon I have the privilege to share with you some personal thoughts on the formation of the Jesuit university communities towards social justice based on my experience as current President of the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) and the shared experience of service learning in the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific (AJCU-AP). On both levels I reflect on efforts that are ongoing – works in progress – rather than on models. I hope simply to encourage sharing on the issues and challenges we encounter as Jesuit colleges and universities committed to making a contribution to social justice in the world today.
Formation vs. instruction. We are involved not only in instruction, but also in formation. We are involved not only in teaching humanities and professional disciplines, but also in forming human freedom. That is not an oxymoron, but a core commitment coming from the heart of our identity, ultimately, the heart of our Church. It celebrates human dignity and achievement, encourages human creativity, supports human morality, and leads our professionals – our scientists, our engineers, our lawyers, our doctors, our social scientists, our entrepreneurs – not only to the advancement of their technical discipline but also to the free advancement of a humane society.
We form from and unto Evangelii Gaudium – the joy of the Gospel. We form towards free commitment to reconciliation with God, with nature and human society. We form, we do not force. We invite, we do not coerce. With Pope Francis in Laudato Si we invite to a new lifestyle in actuality, not in theory, a lifestyle that rejects the domineering ecologically-destructive global technocracy fuelled by consumerism to support a vibrantly diverse humane society living in harmony with creation and God.
Formation for the long term, not only the short term. Appreciating our vision and mission statements – that is, the vision-declaration of our enduring identity as Jesuit universities, and the mission-declaration of the current concerns we address in our concrete situations – what our alumni and alumnae do personally with their education is not a matter of indifference for us. We do not merely shrug our shoulders when some of our alumni choose to advance their personal fortunes through the devastation of the environment and bullying the defenseless poor. We do not explain away the corruption or injustice of our alumni or alumnae by saying they made free personal choices. They did. But if relative to the common good they were wrong choices, it is a cause of pain for us, and warrant for us to re-examine and correct our formative interventions in our universities. Their wrong or right choices reflect on the quality of our formation. Our structures of formation – excellent instruction, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, sports programs, campus ministry, counseling, interdisciplinary discussions, research, and outreach activities – are not only about good order and repeating right answers during our students’ stay in our universities. They support the formation of the freedom of our alumni/ ae up to and beyond graduation, including its appropriate use in life choices, especially in trying situations. They support their ongoing free commitment to the common good. Owning this type of formation requires deep desires, imagination, vision, an ability to dream, an engaged faculty, responsive students, structures of interaction with role models and reflective engagement with the world. Where social justice is involved, it involves forming commitment of students to the common good during college years, and ongoing multi-disciplinary discussions and research on the demands of the historical common good, that would support their ongoing discernment of and commitment to the common good. In this manner, the university must be a reliable partner to alumni/ae living out commitments to the common good in a challenging world.
Formation of the university community, not only the student. We must concern ourselves not only with the formation of the freedom of the students for social justice, but with the formation of the freedom of the entire university community for the common good. This includes the freedom of administrators, faculty members, members of the staff, the warm bodies who constitute the university institution. All are invited in their particular competencies to discern and pursue the social justice that leads research and action for the common good. The institution comes alive in freedom for mission, or it is dead. This is all the more when it is inserted in a society that denies the harm that its economy or its politics or its manner of doing business brings to the marginalized and excluded, and through its “support” for the university tends to muzzle its prophetic voice and turn its thirst for truth into a mode of anxious institutional maintenance, squeamishness about offending donors, and consequent irrelevance for social justice. Academic freedom in the Jesuit university is therefore not just the freedom to determine who may teach, whom may be taught, what must be taught, and how it is taught, it is also about the freedom to pursue the justice, particularly the social justice, that a meaningful life of faith demands, in sensitivity to cultural and religious diversity, and in “care for our common home.” This is on the ground the freedom in service and prophecy to give and not to count the cost. The formation of the student towards social justice in the Jesuit university implies the formation of the university towards social justice. The student thinks and does social justice on the witness and example of people in the university who actually promote it. That this actually happen is the heavy responsibility of its leadership, including the responsibility of those who are responsible for the care of the Jesuit mission. But it is also the responsibility of each and every member of the university community. It is a responsibility that can be owned and lived out only in the Holy Spirit.
Formation from the university vision and mission. The formation of the university community proceeds from the university’s vision and mission. This is not just a statement to decorate handbooks and please accreditors. Lived, it is the soul of the university which brings the diverse parts of the university together. The university is Jesuit because the mission of the Society of Jesus is appropriated by the university and incorporated in substance in its vision and mission. In all the university’s self-realization through instruction, research, and outreach it is the service of the faith, the promotion of justice, the sensitivity to culture, inter-religious dialogue, and the preservation of environment that is implemented. The university leadership must attend to the periodic review of the vision and mission statement according to the demands of local and global conditions and to its appropriation in academic freedom by the university community. From the vision and mission, strategic university plans are formulated and worked out. This has been crucial in the experience of Ateneo de Davao University today.
Formation through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The university is Jesuit not only because it appropriates the mission of the Society of Jesus but because it promotes Ignatian spirituality. This is based on a solid promotion of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, not just of soulless Ignatian slogans like ad majorem Dei gloriam, cura personalis and magis. This is crucial in the lived mission of the Ateneo de Davao. Space for serious three- five- and eight-day retreats is created and supported administratively in the work schedules of members of the university community, appropriate retreat facilities created or accessed, retreat guides seriously trained from among lay members of the faculty or staff, and Ignatian spirituality nurtured through an ongoing program of lectures, Ignatian conversations, spiritual accompaniment, and campus prayer and liturgy. Especially in matters of social justice, the Ignatian pedagogy demands not only experience, reflection, decision, action, and evaluation but Ignatian discernment. Finding and doing God’s will is not only relevant but crucial. Crucial is the Cross.
From the conceptual to the real, from the intentional to the actual. While appropriate attention must be given to clarify the notions of social justice and the common good in the context of the social teaching of the Church, a university’s commitment to social justice is a lie if it remains on the level of concept or intention and is not implemented. University leadership must see to its prudent implementation accepting consequent vulnerability and loss in stride. This was experienced recently by the Ateneo de Davao University in its multi-level, interdisciplinary and networked opposition to the large scale Tampakan mines in South Cotabato, in its advocacy against the socially-unjust Philippine legislation on mining, in its support for peace in Mindanao through recognition of the social injustice brought onto Philippine Muslims over the centuries and through advocacy of the contentious Bangsamoro Basic Law to correct this injustice, through its programs promoting “ecological conversion” on campus, and its promotion of renewal energy in the university and in the country. In these activities it has lost or incurred the ire or criticism of friends, benefactors, and supporters from the mining industry, the clergy, and the energy sector engaged in the creation of coal- red power plants. At the same time “walking the talk” among all in the community has encouraged and galvanized the university community in its commitment to social justice.
Formative experiences. Experiences are formative. Structuring opportunities for formative experiences is important for long-term commitment to social justice. In the past eight years, the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia-Pacific has come together in providing annual three-week international and intercultural service-learning experiences that have focused on aspects of the Jesuit mission: on social justice, dialogue, culture, environmental stewardship, interreligious dialogue, the poor, and, most recently, on social engagement at the frontiers. At Ateneo de Davao, students are exposed to how good governance is actualized on the ground in a barangay of Mintal, and engage in discipline-based activities with partner communities focused on such as site-plans for housing projects, setting standards of local commodity production, infrastructure development, human capital development, and environmental care and protection. An Arrupe Volunteer Program exercises students in leadership based on the implementation of the ADDU vision and mission (ADDU sui generis leadership) and produces successful campus leaders. In guiding reflection on experience that is part of the Ignatian Pedagogical Framework, focus is on the perceived demands of the historical common good.
Alumni/ae and University Support Structures. Meanwhile, at least at Ateneo de Davao, the alumni/ae have expressed the desire to be concretely involved in the Jesuit university’s social justice mission. This is a departure from the alumni/ae’s past almost-exclusive concern with the annual alumni homecoming, which is focused on fellowship, not social justice. Appropriate structures must be set up to mediate this involvement.
Jesuit University Quality Assurance. Metrics and instruments of evaluation must be set up to provide quality assurance not only for academic programs and universities as institutions, but also for Jesuit universities qua Jesuit. This is, obviously, not an easy task. But we must be able to assure ourselves objectively of the meaningfulness of operating our Jesuit universities – whether they are led by Jesuits or our lay-partners.
Fuelling the Jesuit university mission today in social justice, in the joy of the Gospel, and in the care of our common home, is impossible without formation and the university life and leadership which supports this.
1 The AJCU-AP will contribute to the Global Jesuit Case Studies Series. Case studies, evolving from stories are business-oriented but not confined to business, and which can feature Asia Pacific contexts. One of these would be business within the ASEAN+3 context.
The objective is to develop emerging leaders by providing transformational learning experiences using unique cases rooted in Jesuit tradition and core values.
In partnership with the over 200 Jesuit colleges and universities globally, the Global Jesuit Case Series (GJCS) aims to produce and disseminate a series of business and social policy cases that embody the values of social justice, human dignity, moral leadership, and sustainability while concurrently fostering organizational innovation and profitability. Our hope is that the GJCS will act as an invaluable resource for faculty, students, and alumni.
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