Universities Australia's Board of Directors are meeting today with senior representatives of the Consortium of Eastern Indonesia State Universities (CEISU) to discuss collaborative linkages between universities in the eastern provinces of Indonesia and Australia.
The CEISU delegation is led by Professor Dr. Lefrand W. Sondakh, Rector, Sam Ratulangi University and CEISU President, and includes senior executive staff of 11 Eastern Indonesian universities.
Universities Australia Chair Professor Sutton said that today's meeting builds on a long tradition of cooperation between Australia and Eastern Indonesia that has seen lasting connections between a number of universities of both countries.
"Universities Australia is pleased to be continuing that tradition by facilitating the latest discussions with the CEISU on behalf of its member universities.
"The Consortium's broad aim is to establish cooperation with internationally recognised higher institutions in other countries to assist further development of science and technology at home, as higher education in Eastern Indonesia is increasingly expected to contribute to government development programs," Professor Sutton said.
"The CEISU is specifically seeking interactions with Australian universities because of close regional ties and the long history of cooperation between Indonesian and Australian higher education institutions.
"Cooperation between Australian and Eastern Indonesian universities goes back to the 1970s when the then Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee established the Australian Asian Universities Cooperation Scheme to assist the development of Indonesian regional universities. More recently, the Indonesia Australia Eastern Universities Project sponsored by AusAid focussed on building the capacity of a number of targeted Eastern Indonesia Universities in basic sciences, agriculture, and animal sciences," Professor Sutton said.
"Our discussions today will focus on possible collaborative teaching and research-related activities across a range of academic fields at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level," Professor Sutton said.
"Building the capacity and capability of universities, their staff, students and graduates are critical objectives for both Australia and Indonesia, and for the development and prosperity of the region.
"In this regard, we will also be considering the possibility of contributions by Australian universities to university staff development and priority areas for regional and community development in Eastern Indonesia.
"Universities Australia welcomes this opportunity to act as a bridge in the promotion of institutional links among Australian and Eastern Indonesian universities," Professor Sutton said.
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