Photo: James Walsh

Photo: James Walsh

Going mobile

4 September 2015

New Australian Government funding for five College of Asia and the Pacific projects will allow students to spend time in Japan, Myanmar and Thailand.

The funding, worth $483,000, is part of the 2016 round of the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan (NCP) Mobility Program. This is in addition to the $76,000 already awarded to the College in an earlier round of 2016 New Colombo Plan funding. Two of the projects received three-year funding.

The five College courses are: Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Change; Negotiating with Japan; Japan’s Media Landscapes; The Political Economy of Myanmar; and Southeast Asian Frontiers.

The Political Economy of Myanmar takes undergraduate and Masters students on a two-week study tour of Myanmar, in partnership with the University of Yangon, giving students direct experience of the country’s rapid transition from dictatorship to democracy.

Course coordinator Professor Andrew Walker says the funding will provide opportunities for students to undertake field studies in a country that has been isolated for many years and where academic access is still complex.

“The NCP program helps provide undergraduate students with opportunities to undertake study in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly in destinations where study opportunities have not been previously available,” he says.

Similarly, the Southeast Asian Frontiers project provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to study diverse ethnic and linguistic communities along the Thailand–Myanmar border. It offers intensive tuition in Thai and Burmese languages, augmented by exposure to ethnic minority languages spoken in the borderlands.

The Japan’s Media Landscapes project will provide a new opportunity for ANU students to undertake a two-week study tour to learn about television, print and online media in Japan, while the Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Change project brings together students from Japan and Australia in a four-week field study tour – two weeks in each country – that focuses on cultural landscapes and environmental change.

Negotiating with Japan – a ‘Team Australia’ project co-produced with the University of Sydney and the University of Melbourne – provides a unique internship-based opportunity.

Held over the Australian summer, it begins with online negotiation and arbitration training and residential weekends in Australia, with students then travelling to Tokyo to take part in an international negotiation competition at Sophia University, followed by short-term internships with Austrade, law firms or corporations.

Professor Veronica Taylor, the Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific, is also the convenor of Negotiating with Japan. She says the funding will help develop Australia’s next generation of trade and commerce negotiators.

“This is an immersive experience: students stay in a Japanese neighbourhood, commute to partner universities and visit law firms, courts, government agencies and historical sites,” she says.

The Australian Government has allocated over $1.3 million to ANU as a whole for 15 awarded projects.

The Australian Government received a total of 835 applications in the 2016 round.

Further details of the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program are available at the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade New Colombo Plan website and the ANU New Colombo Plan Mobility Program webpage.

Details of specific funded projects will be progressively made available through the ANU Global Opportunities webpage.


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