(1) Outline of UMAP & Background of UMAP Establishment

【Outline of UMAP】

University Mobility in Asia and the Pacific (UMAP)is an association of government and non-government representatives of the higher education sector in Asia and the Pacific. The organization was established in 1991 with the goal of promoting university student and staff exchange in Asia and the Pacific. In August 1998, the 6th UMAP Reference Group Meeting was held in Bangkok, and the UMAP Constitution was adopted at the Meeting. (The Constitution was partially amended in 2001, 2005, 2013, and 2020.)

The Constitution defines the general aim of UMAP is to achieve a better understanding within each of the countries and territories in the Asia Pacific region of the cultural, economic and social systems of the other countries and territories in the region through enhanced cooperation among higher education institutions and increased mobility of university students and staff.

 The objectives of UMAP are defined as follows:

To identify and overcome impediments to university mobility.
To promote bilateral, multilateral and consortium arrangements among universities of member countries/territories.
To develop and maintain a system for recognition and transfer of credits.

【Background of UMAP Establishment】

In 1999, the Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee (AVCC) organized the conference in cooperation with the Australian government (in April 1999 – Hong Kong and in September 1999 – Canberra) to promote discussion on educational cooperation in Asia and the Pacific, inviting university members concerned from Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. 18 countries/territories attended the conference in Canberra. The resolution to name the conference attended by those countries/territories the "Reference Group Meeting" was adopted, and the Meeting became the 1st UMAP Reference Group Meeting.

In August 1998, the 6th UMAP Reference Group Meeting was organized in Bangkok, and the following items were adopted:

1) Adoption of the UMAP Constitution, 2) Establishment of the UMAP International Secretariat, 3) Establishment of the UMAP Board to oversee the International Secretariat, 4) Trial of UMAP Credit Transfer Scheme (UCTS)

The UMAP International Secretariat (UMAP IS) was established in Japan (inside of the Komaba Campus, the University of Tokyo) in April 1998, and moved to the 1st Floor of Plaza Heisei, Tokyo International Exchange Center owned by the Association of International Education, Japan (AIEJ) (now Japan Student Services Organization (JASSO)) in May 2001.

The UMAP IS was moved to Thailand in March 2006, Taiwan in January 2011, Japan again (inside of Toyo University) in January 2016, and Canada in January 2021.