Vice-Chancellor unveils plans for Southeast Asian studies in Jakarta

17 May 2012

Dr Spence signs an agreement with the Rector of Jakarta State University, Bedjo Sujanto.
Dr Spence signs an agreement with the Rector of Jakarta State University, Bedjo Sujanto.

A senior delegation from the University has completed a visit to Indonesia, where Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence announced plans to boost Southeast Asian studies at Sydney.

The delegation visited four major cities - Jakarta, Makassar, Bandung and Yogyakarta - for meetings with university partners, ministries and agencies.

Other senior delegates included the Chancellor, Professor Marie Bashir; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, Professor John Hearn; and the deans of Arts and Social Sciences, Education and Medicine.

The University has strong links with Indonesia: there are 222 Indonesian students at Sydney, 928 contactable alumni, and agreements in place with 10 Indonesian universities. Around 65 academics across eleven faculties are involved in research and capacity building collaborations with Indonesian partners.

In Jakarta, Dr Spence announced that the University is planning to open a Southeast Asia Studies Centre, pooling the expertise of 179 academics with an interest in the region.

The centre will focus on cross-disciplinary projects, with an emphasis on real-world issues such as infectious diseases, emergency management and regional economic integration.

Dr Spence signed a memorandum of understanding with the Rector of Jakarta State University, Bedjo Sujanto, that will lead to more staff and student exchanges between the two universities.

He also attended a forum on higher education in Southeast Asia, organised by the Faculty of Education and Social Work, which looked at the issues of quality, governance and finance raised by the huge expansion in the sector.

Other events included an Austrade-sponsored forum on food security and a research forum at the Eijkman Institute for Molecular Biology. The Director of the Institute, Professor Sangot Marzuki, a specialist in the biogenesis of energy transducing membranes and human genetic disorders, is also an Honorary Professor at Sydney Medical School.

Contact: Richard North

Phone: 02 9351 3191

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