UVic signs co-op exchange agreement with Suranaree University of Technology and Western Digital

Left to right: Dr. Norah McRae, Executive Director of UVic's Co-operative Education Program and Career Services; Dr. Weerapong Pairsuwan, Rector of SUT; and Carmen Charette, UVic Vice President External Relations; and Lindsay Neilson, Associate Director of UVic Global Engagement.

Signing the agreement with SUT.

Left to right: Dr. Adisak Suvittawat, Lecturer with the School of Management Technology at SUT; Dr. Kongpol Areerak, Director of the Centre for Cooperative Education and Career Development at SUT; Carolyn Russell, Director of UVic Student Recruitment and Global Engagement; Dr. Santi Maensiri, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs and Internationalisation at SUT; Dr. Weerapong Pairsuwan, Rector of SUT; Carmen Charette, Vice President of UVic External Relations; Dr. Norah McRae, Executive Director of UVic's Co-operative Education Program and Career Services and Director of UVic's Office of Community-University Engagement; Dr. Weerachai Arjharn, Director of Technopolis at SUT; Dr. Issra Pramoolsook, Assistant Secretary with WACE ISO@SUT; and Mami Schouten, Coordinator with UVic's International Co-op Programs.

The University of Victoria (UVic), the Suranaree University of Technology (SUT) in Thailand and Western Digital Thailand have signed a co-operative education exchange agreement to foster international student mobility and work-integrated learning opportunities for students from both post-secondary institutions. 

Under the agreement, students from SUT will come to Victoria to complete co-operative work terms with faculty members and offices on campus, while UVic students will travel to Thailand to complete work terms at Western Digital offices. SUT will welcome UVic students to Thailand, facilitate a week-long orientation and provide visa extension support.

“We are excited to continue our longstanding relationship with SUT and to provide extraordinary work opportunities for students from both institutions,” says Dr. Norah McRae, Executive Director of UVic’s Co-operative Education Program and Career Services. “UVic students speak very highly of their experiences with Western Digital and we have been very impressed with the incoming students and their contributions to the UVic community.”

This agreement will continue an ongoing relationship between UVic and SUT that was originally established in 2012 as part of the World Association for Co-operative Education Co-operative Education (WACE) and Work Integrated Education exchange program. This initiative involved multiple institutions from Canada, South Africa, Australia and the United States establishing exchange opportunities for co-op students through partner institutions. WACE continues to contribute to the new agreement.

Since 2012, 34 UVic students have secured work terms with Western Digital Thailand, in projects as diverse as developing automated configuration systems to gaining experience in Human Resources and recruitment. Five more students will be completing work terms in summer 2018. Since 2015, three students from SUT have completed work terms at UVic and 2 engineering students are scheduled to arrive in July for co-op terms with mechanical engineering professor Dr. Zuomin Dong. These students hope to gain skills that will help Thailand’s economic growth and support the United Nation’s Sustainable Goals.

What have students learned through this exchange?