One of the formative aspects of globalization is that the world is now in the direction of becoming a one market economy and a one social community, even though in some regions, it is politically becoming more fragmented along with many sporadic local assertions of cultural identities. This integration phenomenon is most conspicuous in Europe, North America, East Asia, and South East Asia. The implication of this phenomenon on the proper design of business and economic schools is very big such that internationalization of the schools can no longer be done merely by including several international business or economics courses in the curricula. A new dimension of internationalization, real socio-cultural exposures in foreign setting, is becoming a very relevant feature of business education programs. This observation is confirmed by a trend in corporate recruitment of requiring recruits to have some background of foreign socio-cultural exposures, preferably in business, and competence in foreign languages. Accordingly, an up-to-date ideal business and economics program should have the following international characteristics:
- offering international business and economics courses;
- delivering most or all of the courses offered in English;
- offering some of the courses taught by foreign visiting lecturers;
- encouraging faculty members to serve as visiting lecturers abroad and conducting joint research with foreign research partners;
- involving faculty members in international seminars, symposia, and other activities;
- requiring students to take some courses in foreign partner universities;
- inviting a significant portion of foreign students;
- engaging faculty members in international networks;
- facilitating cross cultural interactions; and
- involving universities in other international activities.
The above international features cannot possibly be developed by a business and economics program alone without international networking. Networks are also becoming more relevant to ASEAN Universities, even as ASEAN progresses in the path of economic and social integration. ASEAN University Network (AUN) is the fact an embodiment of that perception. To operationalize the AUN vision and ASEAN spirit in the realm of business and economics, it was agreed at a meeting on 14-16th June 1999 at Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia, that the ASEAN Graduate Business and Economics Program (AGBEP) network be established. It was also agreed that the AGBEP network shall hold an annual meeting.
On 2-3rd April 2013, the ASEAN Graduate Business and Economics Program (AGBEP) 13th Annual Meeting was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. It was agreed in the meeting to expand the AGBEP network to include undergraduate, doctoral, or even non-degree programs. Therefore, there was a proposal to change the name of the network.
On 8-9th October 2014, at the 14th AGBEP Annual Meeting in Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia, it is agreed that AGBEP be renamed.