Southeast Asia Seminar 2018

The 42nd Southeast Asia Seminar
“Health and Rural Development based on the concept of Gross National Happiness”
6-12 December 2018, Thimphu, Bhutan
Application Deadline: August 31, 2018 【Application Closed】

Organized by
the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University and
Royal University of Bhutan

6-12 December 2018
Thimphu, Bhutan

By 2020, the number of people in the world aged 60 and older is projected to outnumber people younger than 5. How to care for the elderly is one of the issues that will need to be addressed by the international community. According to the Annual Health Bulletin, the life expectancy at birth in Bhutan increased from 45.6 years in 1980-1985 to 68.9 years in 2010, and the percentage of people in the population aged 60 or over reached 7.3%.

In 2010, the Ministry of Health of Royal Government of Bhutan initiated a program of “community-based medical care for the elderly,” which attempts to empower communities to take care of their elderly. However, according to the 2017 Population & Housing Census of Bhutan, rural-urban migration is becoming increasingly common within the country. Most districts in the west of the country have experienced population gains from positive net migration, while districts in the east are losing population. As migration is mostly a young cohort phenomenon, a significant number of the elderly may be left behind in the rural districts.

This academic seminar looks at the challenges of health and rural development in the communities of Bhutan, and explores future possibilities for the region. The speakers in this seminar will share significant issues and concerns relating to health and rural development based on the concept of Gross National Happiness. The participants may have much to learn from the strategy and experiences of Bhutan. The seminar includes a field trip within Bhutan.

The Southeast Asia Seminar has been held annually by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University since 1977. Organized thematically around a variety of topics, the seminar offers a seven-day of study tour of Bhutan with group discussions and presentations by the participants. This year, the Southeast Asia Seminar will be an international seminar held in Bhutan. The organizers are currently calling for applications from young and up-and-coming scholars mainly in Southeast and East Asia.

The tentative schedule: (updated at 6 August)

DAY 1 December 6 (Thu.), 2018 :
Bangkok to Paro, Paro to Thimphu
Welcome meeting in Thimphu

DAY 2 December 7 (Fri.), 2018:
Seminar in Thimphu
Speakers from Royal University of Bhutan, Ministry of Health, and Kyoto University

DAY 3 December 8 (Sat.), 2018:
Thimphu to Lobesa
Visit My Gakid Village by Youth Development Fund

DAY 4 December 9 (Sun.), 2018:
Lobesa to Samtegang
Visit Samtegang Basic Health Unit

DAY 5 December 10 (Mon.), 2018:
Samtegang to Lobesa
Visit College of Natural Resources, Royal University of Bhutan

DAY 6 December 11 (Tue.), 2018:
Workshop in Lobesa
Lobesa to Thimphu

DAY 7 December 12 (Wed.), 2018:
Thimphu to Paro, Paro to Bangkok

Participants will arrive in Thimphu, Bhutan on December 6th and depart for their respective country of residence on December 12, 2018.

Applicants who want to join the seminar must have a strong academic interest in the topic of this year’s seminar, and should be prepared to participate actively and constructively, and join in discussions for the full seven-day tour. We accept applications from young and up-and-coming scholars in Southeast Asia, East Asia, and other regions. Nationality balance will be taken into consideration while selecting participants.

Seminar fee:
Registration is free. Airfare of Druk Air or Bhutan Airlines, and accommodation will be covered by the organizers.

Application deadline:
August 31st, 2018

The seminar committee will select on the basis of the application forms, and only accepted applicants will be informed by the end of October, 2018.

Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University
Royal University of Bhutan


About SEAS
The Southeast Asia seminar has been held annually by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University since 1977. Aiming to deepen the understanding of Southeast Asia from various perspectives, the seminar offers seven days of study tour in Bhutan, together with presentations and group discussion by the participants. This year, the seminar will be held in Thimphu, Bhutan, co-organized by Royal University of Bhutan.