The Fourth ASEAN Summit held in Singapore in January 1992 directed that ASEAN should help hasten the solidarity and the development of a regional identity through the promotion of human resources development by considering ways to further strengthen the existing network of leading universities and institutions of higher learning in the ASEAN region with a view to ultimately establishing an ASEAN University based on this expanded network.
To implement this decision, the ASEAN Secretariat, in coordination with the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Education (ASCOE), prepared the draft Charter of the ASEAN University Network and the draft Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN University Network. These were reviewed by an ASEAN experts Group Meeting on ASEAN University Networking held at Bangkok from 20 to 21 April 1995 and subsequently adopted at the Third Meeting of the ASEAN Sub-Committee on Education held at Manila from 20 to 22 June 1995. The Charter of the ASEAN University Network has been signed by the ASEAN Ministers responsible for higher education, while the Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN University Network has been signed by the Presidents/Rectors/Vice – Chancellors of the eleven participating universities in November 1995.
The general objective of the AUN is to strengthen the existing network of cooperation among universities in ASEAN by promoting collaborative studies and research programs on the priority areas identified by ASEAN. The specific objectives are to promote cooperation and solidarity among scientists and scholars in the ASEAN Member Countries; to develop academic and professional human resources in the region; and to produce and transmit scientific and scholarly knowledge and information to achieve ASEAN goals.
The structure of AUN is composed of a Board of Trustees (BOT), Participating Universities, and a Secretariat. The BOT is composed of one representative from each of the ASEAN Member Countries, as designated by the respective governments, the Secretary-General of ASEAN and the Executive Director of the AUN as ex-officio members.