The Colombo Plan Staff College (CPSC), together with the Busan Foundation for International Cooperation (BFIC) have implemented the second phase of the 2023 Busan Global Training Program - Digital and Infrastructure Transformation on Engineering, Design, and Pedagogy in TVET: Smart City Transportation with ITS Model in Busan last May 29 to June 2, 2023. The program was held physically in Busan City Hotel, Busan, South Korea and was attended by a total of 14 TVET professionals from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Fiji, India, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.

As a continued commitment between CPSC and BFIC, this face-to-face program was designed to improve TVET capacity of the participating member countries to operate and manage an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) through the practices and experiences of South Korea by offering an educational program and visiting related facilities in Busan. This will also serve as an opportunity for the participants to understand the policies and latest trends on utilizing innovations on up-to-date urban planning systems in developing smart cities.

The program was jointly supervised by CPSC Director General, Prof. G.L.D. Wickramasinghe; and BFIC Secretary General, Mr. Hwang, Kisik, Ph.D. The program was facilitated by the organizing committee of BFIC headed by Dr. Kyung-sim Yeon (Program Chief Officer) and Ms. Jang Mi-joo (Manager for On-site visiting program). From the CPSC’s side, Mrs. Arlene Cruz served as the Program Coordinator.

BFIC Secretary General Dr. Hwang, Kisik (left) and CPSC Representative and Program Coordinator Mrs. Arlene Cruz (right) give their Opening and Welcome speeches during the opening ceremony

The first day was done to orient the participants and brief them on the daily schedule of the program. The BFIC organizers prepared a yacht tour for the participants at the Haeundae beach to enjoy the Busan city sights and see the progress of the port development. The opening ceremony was conducted during the second day and was attended by key officials from BFIC. During his welcome remarks, Secretary General Dr. Hwang Kisik extended his utmost appreciation to all the participants and the organizing committee from BFIC and CPSC for delivering a full-blown face-to-face training program in Busan. He also wished the participants good luck and hoped for them to have a successful and fruitful training ahead. Likewise, Ms. Arlene Cruz on behalf of the Director General of CPSC thanked the BFIC for their continued support and commitment in delivering quality programs for CPSC’s member countries. She also expressed her hopes that the partnership will be further strengthened in the coming years.

Pukyong National University Professor, Prof. Ahn, Sangwuk delivers a short lecture on Busan’s 15-minute city during the opening ceremony

During the opening program, a short lecture was delivered by Prof. Ahn Sangwuk, a professor in Pukyong National University. His lecture focused on the topic, Busan’s 15-minute City where he talked about the innovations and some digital trends on the transportation and urban planning system of Busan. This lecture aimed to provide insights and make Busan City a model for smart cities around the world. Following this, the participants looked back as they shared some of their reflections and learnings in the previous online program (phase 1) of the Busan Global Training Program which was conducted last November 2022.

On-site Sessions, Networking, and Field Activities

Throughout the five-day program, the participants were immersed with the numerous on-site sessions, networking activities and field studies throughout Busan. These include visiting and touring the following facilities: Busan World Expo Attraction Promotion Video Hall, Korea Road Traffic Authority Office in Busan, Traffic Broadcasting Station, Busan Driver’s License testing site, North Port Redevelopment Promotion Office, and the Busan Traffic Information Service Center.

The Regional Program participants during the study visit to Korea’s Information Transportation Systems (ITS) Technologies, Busan

Some group workshops were conducted for the participants to check the learnings they have gained on ITS in Busan. The knowledge they obtained from the program was encouraged to be shared and applied in their respective countries’ transportation systems and urban policies. The group outputs were presented during the Action Planning session afterwards.

In addition, an experiential activity was also conducted which allowed the participants to experience Busan’s subway system. Within the Ban-song area, the participants hopped in the train station of Banyeo Agricultural and Fishery Market station and alighted at the Dongnae Station. This experience served as a supplemental learning activity for the participants to gain hands-on knowledge on how Busan’s ITS works.

The participants during the Action Planning presentations, Day 5

The closing ceremony was held on June 1, 2023 and was attended again by key officials of BFIC, including its Secretary General, Mr. Lee, Chiwoo. Words of appreciation were expressed by the delegates as they conveyed that it was an enriching experience for all of them during the ceremony. The participants were awarded their certificates in recognition of their outstanding participation throughout the five-day training.

The participants enjoying the view of Haeundae beach during the yacht tour

The participants during the study visit to the Busan World Expo Attraction Promotion Video Hall, Busan City Hall
The participants during the study visit to Samson FA