University of Washington faculty members are collaborating with colleagues in Indonesia in fields as diverse as bioethics, dance, library collections, gamelan music, and human-wildlife interaction.
At a presentation on April 28, 2016, five faculty members reported on the collaborations they seeded while travelling in and around Jogjakarta, Indonesia over the summer of 2015. Their travel was funded by the Office of Global Affairs Strategic International Partnership Travel Award (now the Global Innovation Fund), which was granted to the Southeast Asia Center in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies. The five faculty members were Judith Henchy, Head of the Southeast Asia Section at UW Libraries, Huck Hodge, Associate Professor in the School of Music, Randall Kyes, Director of the Center for Global Field Study, Beth Rivin, Director of the Global Health and Justice Project, and Christina Sunardi, Associate Professor in the School of Music.
While in Jogjakarta, the faculty deepened existing relationships with Indonesian colleagues and established important new connections which will allow them to return to Indonesia to collaborate on library exchanges, online course development, and grant proposals. Interest was also expressed in creating more opportunities for UW students to study abroad in Indonesia.
U.S.-Indonesia academic mobility is a priority for both countries. In 2010, President Obama and President Yudhoyono signed an agreement that created the U.S.-Indonesia Partnership Program (USIPP), a bilateral consortium of 12 partner institutions, six from the U.S. and six from Indonesia, including UW and Gadjah Mada University. This initiative has facilitated the development of new study abroad programs, increased academic collaboration, and provided the opportunity for partnerships among participating institutions, upon which the 2015 Strategic International Partnership Travel Award built.
Indonesia is the fourth most populous country and has the largest Islamic population in the world. It is home to nearly 20 million secondary school students (13-18 years old) and 5 million tertiary school students with 53 state universities and over 400 private universities. In 2013, there were 7,670 Indonesian students studying in the United States.
Photograph and article by Mary Barnes