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HISTORY OF EURASIA-PACIFIC UNINET
Networks usually have a starting point, that is, an initial idea or field of focus. In case of Eurasia-Pacific Uninet, the network originated in Salzburg, an Austrian city which became famous for its music festivals and unique location surrounded by mountains. Ideas and concepts for a network connected with Asian countries were developed between 1995 and 2000. On the basis of bilateral cooperation agreements between Chinese universities and Salzburg University first activities were initiated by Prof. Brigitte Winklehner, teaching at Salzburg University, who energetically drove forward these ideas in order to turn them into reality.
The Austrian Federal Ministry has up until now acted as the main sponsor and supporter for this activity by supporting the financial basis. The individual universities have representatives who organize projects at their respective university and meet regularly as a curatory. The president is supported by staff and coworkers and further by the OeAD. Membership fees allow for network activities, such as administration and connective programs, which cannot be financed by any other sources.
The intention was to establish a coordinated and well-structured network for the internationalization efforts of Austrian universities, universities of applied sciences and research institutions with scientific partners in East and Central Asia, as well as in the Pacific Region. Considering the limited resources of a rather small country, coordination under a single body was intended. The hence called Eurasia-Pacific Uninet should serve as a tool to pool resources and to share interests through collective decision-making procedures, to reach a 'critical mass' in the research cooperation in specific areas, as well as to become visible and attractive as an international partner in an increasingly competitive market in Asia.
In September 2001, the Association for International Educational Transfer was founded by the Austrian Ministry for Education, Science and Culture as the legal body for the administrative support of Eurasia-Pacific Uninet and Asea Uninet.
The goals of the network were defined as joint research activities, seminars, conferences, teaching workshops and exchange of scientists among member institutions. This includes joint research centers and joint schools for teaching, research and training, development of joint curricula, exchange programs for students and Scholarship programs for PhD and Post Docs.
From 2002 onwards, Austrian and Asian institutions joined the network. All current members can be found on this website in the respective tab. Generally, it can be said that the size of the network gradually grew within the past 15 years to over 160 member institutions.
Every three years a plenary meeting was organized that brought together numerous members and created a platform for exchange of ideas and experiences.
PRESIDENCY AND OFFICE
Prof. Winklehner held the presidency of the network up to fall 2012. After the 4th plenary meeting, Prof. Dr. Wolf-Dieter Rausch from the University of Veterinary Medicine took over this position and the the head office moved to the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, where it is still situated today.