Two of our Students represent Sydney at world forum

30 June 2011

Anders Sangkuhl and Vilas Gobin represented the University after winning an essay competition open to undergraduate and postgraduate students in the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

The biennial forum was hosted by Chulalongkorn University, Thailand's leading university, and involved 63 students from around the world. Their week-long program of events included academic, practical and social activities including a welcome reception in a typical Thai home, lectures from regional agricultural experts, and a field trip to Petchaburi Province to see how farmers are developing responses to environmental degradation.

Anders, a 3rd year Bachelor of Resource Economics student, said: "The program gave a real relevance to issues such as rural development, and really motivated me to think of potential topics for a thesis post-university related to the topics we analysed.

"The most relevant sources of information came from local farmers who are involved in teaching methods of self-sufficiency and rejuvenation to their neighbours."

Vilas, a first year doctoral student studying resource economics, said the experience was enriching and provided an opportunity to interact with people from a wide variety of cultures.

Vilas was born in Guyana, on the north east coast of South America, and moved to Australia in 2006 to study at the University of Sydney. He graduated in 2009 and worked at the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources for a year as a teaching assistant.

Funding for their visit to the forum was provided by an award from the International portfolio and the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Professor Anton McLachlan, Director of Regional Development in the International portfolio, said: "Opportunities of this kind provide our students with invaluable international experience, and we are committed to providing funding to support such initiatives."

Academic Consortium 21 (AC21) aims to promote cooperation in education and research between members to improve the quality of life and foster co-existence beyond national and regional boundaries in the 21st century. Sydney has been a member since 2002.

Contact: Dr Lucy Buxton

Phone: 02 8627 1005

Email: 093207006416132b3c583b123a405d1e54156608035e444a5e