1991-2021: Thirty years of Excellence in International Exchange Programming
In 1991, a handful of university professors, higher education administrators, and government officials came together with the idea to facilitate student exchange programs across Asia and the Pacific region. Amidst a global pandemic, new and innovative approaches to student exchange, and an ever-growing number of member institutions, we are proud to celebrate all of those who have contributed to the successes of UMAP over the past 30 years.
Explore the map to see how we have grown in the years since that first meeting in 1991!
Messages of Congratulations from around the world
Mr. Ajay Patel, President (Vancouver Community College, Canada) and Secretary General UMAP Consortium (2021-25)
“It gives me great pleasure to join with you all in celebrating the 30th anniversary of the UMAP consortium. It has been a long journey from the consortium’s humble beginnings. We have achieved much, but the pandemic has shown us that there are still many paths to travel and many obstacles in our path. We are assured, however, of our directions and goals. We at VCC are honoured to be stewards of the UMAP administration during this five-year term as International Secretariat, and we look forward to advancing our shared values and vision and together pursuing shared goals”.
“On behalf of the UMAP Ambassadors, it is my privilege to leave a short message to congratulate on the 30th Anniversary and to expect UMAP families to development the more challenging programs for the future leaders of students in Asia and the Pacific. In the age of green and digital transformation, UMAP students, I hope, be prepared for the global mind-sets of international collaboration, and for global employability. UMAP is my life and dream, and should be with the last resort for all people to live together on earth and in our inclusive region. I am proud of having been the Deputy Secretary General of the first UMAP International Secretariat located in Japan. I am thankful to the UMAP friends I have made”.
Dr. Yen-Yi Lee, Director General, Department of International and Cross-strait Education, Ministry of Education, Taiwan
“UMAP Taiwan National Secretariat would like to warmly congratulate UMAP as it celebrates its 30th anniversary. UMAP has established a reputation in the Asia-Pacific region as an outstanding global student mobility platform. Taiwan has been a UMAP member since UMAP’s beginning, serving as International Secretariat from 2011-15, and will continue to serve the UMAP community by contributing to the steady enhancement of mobility in higher education. Best wishes for continuing to advance academic collaboration, cultural exchanges, and international mobility”.
Dr. Shingo Ashizawa, Professor at Toyo University and Former Deputy Secretary General, UMAP International Secretariat
“On behalf of the former UMAP IS, I would like to convey our warmest congratulations on the 30th Anniversary of UMAP. Toyo University also sincerely appreciates the tremendous efforts being made by our colleagues at Vancouver Community College, the current UMAP IS, towards the further expansion of UMAP activities.
With strong support from all the member countries, UMAP developed new flagship programs such as UMAP Discovery Camp and UMAP COIL, during our tenure as UMAP IS. Also during that time, it was wonderful for UMAP to welcome new member countries including Canada, Australia, and the United States of America. Toyo University will continue working with UMAP members on the Online Exchange Program and Virtual Model United Nations. I believe the future of UMAP is promising despite the disturbance caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. Thank you all so much again for your support, kindness, and many efforts on behalf of UMAP!!”
Dr. Ichiro Tanioka, President, Osaka University of Commerce & UMAP Ambassador
“I sincerely congratulate UMAP on its 30th anniversary. It is my honor that I was one of the participants for the inaugural meeting in Canberra, Australia in 1991. At the meeting, we were supposed to decide the name of the new organization: the very first idea was “SMAPU” which stood for “Scheme for Mobility” mirrored from ERASMUS in Europe. I clearly remember raising my hand and saying ‘SMAPU sounds somewhat awkward for Japanese, because it is being used by a famous male sing & dance group. Can it be altered, if possible?’. So this was it, and our organization was named UMAP (it’s a good one, isn’t it?). Once again, congratulations for the UMAP 30th Anniversary!“.