The next iteration of the annual Indian Ocean regional education collaboration entitled International Relations in the Indian Ocean Region: Collaborative Study Experience will be held at UWA in Perth in November-December 2020 with funding provided by the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Special Fund and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The ten-day short course for selected Master’s students practices a annual rotating regional delivery, with previous iterations taking place in Jakarta, Indonesia (2017, 2018) and Pretoria, South Africa (2019) as initially a tripartite collaboration between UWA, Universitas Paramadina (Indonesia) and the University of Pretoria. By securing the enhanced funding, the program will now expand to seven regional partner universities by including staff and students from the University of Mauritius, the University of Dhaka (Bangladesh), Jawaharlal Nehru University (India) and from the United Arab Emirates, the current IORA Chair. The course will now have a total of 35 students and several participating academic staff.
The education collaboration, which brings together students from Africa, Asia and Australia, covers a range of key Indian Ocean regional ideas, themes and dynamics including geopolitics, maritime security, trade, climate change, migration, blue economy, governance, culture and diplomacy and the program will include interactive seminars from participating staff as well as leading Perth-based experts and practitioners. Students will undertake a group project and presentation and will visit Western Australian Indian Ocean sites including historical Rottnest Island and the Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre (IOMRC).
The annual course advances IORA’s academic, science and technology collaboration and also help to deliver the UWA Vision 2030 which prioritises the University’s engagement with the Indian Ocean region. Program coordinator and AfREC Director Dr David Mickler said that “our unique collaborative education program aims to build the knowledge base, diplomatic skills and professional networks for the next generation of regional leaders across the Indian Ocean. Through rotating around the partner countries we learn more about both individual societies in our region as well as the challenges and opportunities to build regional identities and connectedness.”