1.2 Proportion of students receiving financial aid to attend university because of poverty
Number of students – 2103
Number of low income students receiving financial aid – 904
1.3 University anti-poverty programmes
Students from low-income and lower-middle income countries dominate AIT rolls
The official 2022 numbers are now in for students enrolled at Asian Institute of Technology from developing countries in Asia and Africa.
According to documentation provided by the institute’s Registry Office, this year saw 21 students from 8 low-income countries and 883 students from 25 lower-middle income countries enrolled in postgraduate programs, out of a total of over 1669 students.
Source: Google Sheets
The low-income countries were Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Uganda.
Since AIT operates at a regional level, and its mission is “to develop highly qualified and committed professionals who will play a leading role in the sustainable development of the region and its integration into the global economy,” the figures speak volumes about its core identity and region-wide impact.
“AIT believes that advanced education is a powerful tool to reduce poverty, as it can increase employment opportunities, income, and productivity,” said AIT President Kazuo Yamamoto.
Dedicated to supporting sustainable development in Asia under its current motto of “Social Impacet with Innovation” the institute’s raison d’etre is all about providing quality education and skills to its international students for them to improve their livelihoods and contribute to the socio-economic development of their home countries.
AIT operates as a multicultural community, where students and staff from myriad backgrounds and countries learn and work together. During the year, AIT student recruitment teams organized a number of virtual and in person promotional events in developing countries of the Asia-Pacific, such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Cambodia and the Philippines.
Various academic programs offer scholarships, fellowships, and grants to qualified students to offset the costs of pursuing postgraduate degrees. The institute provides mentoring, networking, and career development opportunities to the students, as well as exposure to the latest technologies and innovations.
98% of AIT grads in ‘22 represent countries of the Global South
A total of 19 Doctoral and 169 Master’s Degree students earned their degrees at AIT’s 138th Commencement Ceremony on 16 December 2022. This followed the 137th Graduation held earlier in the year on May 20. Combined, a total of 503 students earned postgraduate degrees in 2022, boosting AIT’s total alumni to over 26,000 from 105 countries.
Source: Google Sheets
For the year, AIT graduated 317 students from lower-middle income countries, 174 from upper-middle income countries (including Thailand with 151 graduates), and 2 from low-income countries.
Only 10 students, or 2% of the entire graduating class for 2022, hailed from high income countries, such as the United States.
Upwards of 70 percent of the AIT student body of 1675 hail from developing countries outside of AIT’s host country Thailand. Moreover, a tracer study of its alumni diaspora once found that 90 percent of all AIT graduates return to their country of origin to develop their careers.
“We are proud to reach so many students from developing countries who need our support the most to achieve their potential and make significant contributions back home,” President Yamamoto said.
Emphasizing the effects of current geopolitical stress and conflicts on both the economy and the lives of people, AIT President Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto stressed that mutual respect and understanding are essential.
“The experiences and exposure our graduates received in the multiethnic and diverse setting of AIT have helped cultivate their positive attitude to work on the challenges of our time.”
Commencement Speaker UNDP Resident Representative to Thailand, Mr. Renaud Meyer congratulated the graduates and remarked that they are now ready to tackle and find solutions to problems of ever-increasing complexity, such as the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr. Meyer added: “All AIT graduates should be proud of what you have achieved today and leverage it. You should look at your degree and think this is an obligation, not only for success as an individual but for your contribution to a successful society.”
855 students from developing countries earn scholarship support in 2022
Every year, AIT provides various levels of scholarship support to academically talented students who lack the financial means to fund their postgraduate level education. The support commonly covers basic needs including food, housing, transportation, legal services, along with tuition fees. In keeping with its mission, the scholarships target deserving students who aspire to contribute to the development of their home countries.
In 2022, a total of 21 students from 8 low-income countries received partial or full scholarships. In addition, a total of 834 students representing 24 lower middle-income countries received partial or full scholarships. AIT officials explain that scholarships are part of the institute’s vision to be a catalyst for innovation and sustainable development in Asia and beyond.
The Institute manages a number of Master’s level scholarships provided by the Royal Thai Government (RTG) to qualified candidates with excellent academic qualifications. They provide opportunities for students of diverse backgrounds from Thailand and all countries in Asia to study and do research work together in the truly international environment, and to build a good foundation for international understanding among people of Asia.
The RTG scholarships are granted by the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Thai Ministry of Education. These scholarships cover the full tuition and registration fees, as well as a monthly stipend and accommodation allowance for students pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees at AIT. The scholarships are open to students from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Mongolia, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
His Majesty the King’s Scholarships are granted to qualified candidates with excellent undergraduate achievements from any Asian country to pursue a Master Degree in any of the disciplines offered at AIT’s School of Engineering and Technology (SET) and its School of Management (SOM).
Her Majesty the Queen’s Scholarships are granted to qualified candidates with excellent undergraduate achievements from any Asian country to pursue a Master’s degree in the environmental-related field offered at the School of Environment, Resources, and Development (SERD).
Another scholarship is the Bangchak Master’s Scholarship, which is sponsored by the Bangchak Corporation Public Company Limited, a Thai energy company. This scholarship covers the full tuition and registration fees, as well as a monthly stipend and accommodation allowance for students pursuing a Master’s degree in the fields of energy, environment, or food engineering and biotechnology at AIT. The scholarship is open to students from Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, China, India, and Bangladesh .
Other scholarships available at AIT include the WE Consultant Scholarships, the Thai Pipe Scholarships, the AIT-UNESCO-IHE Joint Master’s in Urban Water Engineering and Management, the Japanese Government Scholarships, the BRIDGEX Scholarship for Structural Engineering, the . Asian Development Bank-Japan Scholarship Program (ADB-JSP), and many others.
AIT initiates new scholarship program for Afghan women in 2022
The Asian Institute of Technology has initiated a new scholarship program that enables 4 female students from Afghanistan to obtain a Master’s degree at AIT. The scholarship program was initiated for the Spring Semester, starting in January 2022.
The initiative was launched against the backdrop of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in Aug. 2021, which has severely impacted women’s ability to attend universities in the country. The Taliban’s restrictions on women’s education have been widely condemned by the international community
The scholarships are sponsored by AIT, the Thai Pipe Industry, Osotspa Public Company, and CEO of Christiani & Nielsen Energy Solutions (CNES), Bangkok, AIT officials confirmed.
The scholarship recipients are selected based on their academic records and determination to pave the way for other women in Afghanistan to actively participate in their society.
AIT President Dr. Eden Woon said: “Afghanistan is part of AIT’s extensive family since we have long had excellent students from this country. When we heard that female students were now facing difficulties in getting higher education in their country, AIT wanted to help them come to our institute in Bangkok. And we were fortunate to immediately find like-minded donors for scholarships.”
The scholarship program is a testament to AIT’s commitment to promoting gender equality and empowering women in one of the most restrictive environments in the world for women to obtain higher education, the president said.
For AIT, the new scholarship program for Afghan female students is a step towards promoting gender equality and empowering women in the war-torn country. It is also an example of AIT’s commitment to sustainable development and promoting equal opportunities for women.
The Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) manages a number of Doctoral and Master’s level non-binding scholarships provided by the Royal Thai Government (RTG) to qualified candidates with excellent academic qualifications from Thailand and other Asian countries. The scholarships provide an opportunity for students of diverse backgrounds from all countries in Asia to study and conduct research work together in the truly International environment at AIT and to build a good foundation for International understanding among people of Asia.
Source 2: https://ait.ac.th/financial-aid/
1.4 Community anti-poverty programmes
Entrepreneurship Center of Asian Institute of Technology, assists and provides all facilities Provide assistance in the local community supporting the start-up of financially and socially sustainable businesses through relevant education or resources (e.g. mentorship programmes, training workshops, access to university facilities).
Source 1: http://www.greenstartups.ait.ac.th/
Source 2: http://ec.ait.ac.th/toolkit/
The Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) announced early this year that it granted the status of Science and Technology Park to the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). This will promote active collaboration between the industry and educational/research institutions and provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs to strengthen their capabilities in research and development.
AIT provides Programmes for services access Organize training or programmes to improve access to basic services for all either directly or indirectly.
AIT spearheads Switch Asia Regional Policy Advocacy project to reduce poverty for sustainable consumption, production and practices in Asia
The Switch Asia Program is a notable program AIT participates in for policy-making to reduce poverty. AIT has partnered with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to launch an online series of Policy Dialogues on Sustainable Lifestyles in Asia and offline courses on the Circular Economy.
One of the projects funded by the Switch Asia Program and spearheaded by AIT in 2022 is the Switch Asia Regional Policy Advocacy Component (RPAC). The program aims to promote sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices in Asia, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Pacific. It also aims to reduce poverty and contribute to a transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient, and circular economy.
Financing for SCP needs to be bolstered through enablers or levers, some of which are effective policy and regulatory framework, governance, technological innovations, reporting and monitoring mechanisms, capacity building and outreach, market efficiencies, and innovations in business models.
This year, RPAC, in partnership with the TERI School of Advanced Studies (SAS) and the Asian Institute of Technology, organized a regional policy dialogue on the concept of mobilizing finance for SDG-12. The dialogue discussed the imperatives of financing SCP and SDG-12, and gained first-hand insights from financing organizations and academic institutes on key barriers to garner private investments into the sector, and the role of enablers to address the challenges.
AIT officials implementing the UNEP-funded regional project said it is intended to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations and other stakeholders to engage in policy advocacy and dialogue on SCP practices and sustainable lifestyles in Asia.
AIT’s participation in the Switch Asia Program and the Switch Asia RPAC project has been instrumental in promoting sustainable consumption and production practices in Asia, reducing poverty, and contributing to a transition towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient, and circular economy.
The Switch Asia Program has funded pilot projects through its grants scheme, which assisted companies in adopting sustainable industrial practices and cleaner technologies, and helped consumers make responsible daily and lifestyle choices.
Since its launch, about 143 projects have been funded with an average grant size of EUR 1.7 million across a wide range of sectors including energy efficiency in industrial plants and houses, agri-food and fishing sectors, textiles and leather, tourism, logistics, and freight. These have been implemented by over 500 Asian and European partners and some 100 private sector associates, which indirectly benefited up to 80,000 beneficiaries.