UNIGIS was invited to contribute to the Asia Geospatial Forum 2013 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 24th to 26th September, 2013 and conduct a 'Geospatial Capacity Building and Student Forum' for bringing together academia, industry, organisations and students at a common platform for face-to-face interaction. The AGF is one of the biggest regional GIS conferences in S/E Asia and has been organised in a different country every year since 2003. UNIGIS has been entrusted with a prominent role at the event since 2005.
Dr. Shahnawaz (Director, UNIGIS S/E Asia) represented UNIGIS and gave the lead presentation setting-up the overall framework as well as moderated the forum involving about 40 participants. The opening session was devoted to a panel discussion including distinguished experts from Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. They exchanged their experiences and visionary ideas about Geospatial education in the ASEAN region. This was followed by a session dedicated to students presenting their ongoing Master / Ph.D. level research.
The forum concluded with a vibrant open-floor discussion where a majority of students expressed that the courses related to Geospatial education offered by several educational institution in the region are not up to the mark. On the other side, teachers expressed their frustration about a lack of support for updating the standards of their GIS laboratories.
It was widely recognised that there is a need of forming a network for knowledge and resource sharing and, perhaps, UNIGIS is an appropriate leader in this direction!