The topic of the 2020 SMART 2.0 Challenge has been chosen to address the education obstacles resulting from the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Universities in many countries have shifted to “distance learning” or distance education to provide courses.

The 2020 SMART 2.0 Challenge will incorporate student input concerning how best to improve distance learning and will challenge the participants to:

Identify up to five (5) important problem being widely experienced by distance leaners

Develop innovative solutions to overcome these problems

These are all complex and dynamic issues that cannot be solved through individual action, but will require the coordinated involvement of many stakeholders along with heightened social awareness. This program can hopefully embolden academics and students to help bring about meaningful changes in our global society.

Diversity and Collaboration

This program aims to promote cross-cultural teamwork involving groups of students working together from different countries. Student teams will be partly judged on their ability to utilize cultural diversity as an asset, not a liability.

They will compete on solving important issues affecting the Southeast and South Asian regions. More importantly, students will team up with partners possessing diverse expertise, for it is hoped that this program will promote a deeply-rooted cross-disciplinary approach to realizing innovative solutions.

Participation Eligibility

  • All students from SATU member universities
  • Students must be currently enrolled in a full-time study program

“I was delighted to take part in the SMART 2.0 Contest in which I had the opportunity to work with like-minded students from different countries to solve problems that our region is facing.” Hai Tuan Vu, National Chiao Tung University

Forming a Team

  • Each student will need to register through the SMART 2.0 website.
  • The SATU Presidents’ Forum International Secretariat will then assign students to teams made up of other participants, based on their professional disciplines and nationalities. Each team will consist of 3–5 students.
  • Each team will be given their team members’ contact information.
  • Each team must come up with a team name and have a team leader.

Submission Guidelines

Project Submission Requirements:

  1. An Abstract (less than 250 words) of your team’s preliminary ideas, which must be named as "[Team Name]_2020 SMART 2.0 Abstract."
  2. Each team is required to submit a 3–5 minute Project Video to demonstrate their proposed solutions, which must be named as “[Team Name]_2020 SMART 2.0 Video.”
  3. A completed “2020 SATU SMART 2.0 SMART 2.0 Team Member Contributions” form listing each team member's contributions to the project. Please download the form here.
  4. The submitted Abstract, Video, and Contributions form are required to be provided in English.
  5. Each Project Video is required to contain the following mandatory sections:
    • TEAM NAME and self-introduction of each team member;
    • The STRATEGY involving the combination of strategies and teaching techniques comprising your team’s proposed solution. Your team should place an emphasis on the novelty and value to distance learning of your team’s solution;
    • The expected IMPACT of the implementation of your team’s solution.

Optional: We encourage students to use FREE online courses, such as Coursera, edX, and Udemy, to gain firsthand exposure to distance learning platforms.

Please email your team’s Project Video and Abstract to

Evaluation Method

The proposed projects will be judged based on the following criteria:


Utilization of cross-cultural
differences as an asset



Innovations of the
proposed solution



Demonstration of understanding
the underlying issues



Proposed strategies to
educate the public



Effectiveness of your team’s plans to
implement your findings in the real world


Cash Prizes

Top 3 teams will be invited to attend

2020 SATU General Assembly and Steering Committee Meeting to present their teams’ projects and share their remote team work experiences. However, due to the current uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, the 2020 SATU General Assembly and Steering Committee Meeting could take place in the virtual venue.


  • The selected prize winning team members need to provide the required bank account information to receive payment of these prizes.
  • International transfer fees will be charged and recipients might not receive the full amount.

Participation Gift

We hope that you enjoy the cross-cultural competition and experience. All participants will receive a participation gift.