Indonesian uni visits Lismore to build partnership
SOUTHERN Cross University (SCU) hosted 26 Indonesian delegates on Monday to expand their collaboration across different fields.
What was originally to be a visit from three Indonesian delegates quickly rose to be a visit of 26, as faculty heads and other staff at the University of Pattimura in Ambon, Maluku, were keen to see how an international university operated.
Beneficial for both regions
Pro Vice Chancellor of International and Enterprise Chris Patton said the relationship would benefit both regions.
“Increased research collaboration improves the possibility that SCU’s research will become increasingly world class, which is already occurring,” he said.
“It means our region is making a difference in the world.”
He said the collaboration would also encourage Indonesian students to visit Lismore, creating economic benefits and increased cultural diversity on the Northern Rivers.
Economic and cultural benefits
Mr Patton said SCU and the University of Pattimura already had a strong relationship but this agreement would strengthen it further.
“We’ve had a relationship with Pattimura for quite some time on the basis of individual researchers ... but we wanted to have a broader strategy,” he said.
University of Pattimura professor Jacobus Mosse said SCU researchers helped Ambon tackle a major environmental issue.
“We sent one of our staff here for three months and as a consequence of that, built up research together to solve one of our big problems in Indonesia, which is mining in our province, Maluku,” he said.
“We’re so keen to bring some of our HR staff here and learn a good practice of running a university.”
Different fields of study
He said Pattimura was looking to embrace different study and research fields across the two universities next year.
Some of the mentioned fields included law, social sciences, agriculture, economics and education.
Specialist advisory firm ASEAN Focus Group has been working closely with SCU and TAFE North Coast to build their engagement strategy with Indonesia’s Eastern Islands.
Director Michael Fay said many Australian universities focused on building relationships with established institutions on the island of Java, so the Northern Rivers strategy would stand out.
“Southern Cross University has taken a region to region strategy and that’s highly regarded by the Australian embassy in Indonesia,” he said.
On Tuesday morning the delegates visited Wollongbar TAFE to see how that pathway worked.