Griffith has been successful in the recent New Colombo Plan mobility round and, along with The University of Queensland, awarded more than $240,000 to run two projects in the Pacific Islands.
Adjunct Associate Professor Sven Schottmann from Griffith’s School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science said the projects will give around 50 students from both institutions the opportunity to develop a better understanding of the region they share.
The projects will introduce students to the cultures, politics and societies of their closest neighbours, supporting closer people-to-people ties through new cross-border friendships and experiences,â€ he said.
â€œEach year for the next three years, the Queensland Pacific Islands Summer School will take between 10-14 students to New Caledonia and then to a second regional destination on two weeks long study tours focused around particular themes.
â€œThe 2020 study tour will focus on security, taking an inter-disciplinary perspective to grapple with a complex, multilayered phenomenon.â€
Adjunct Associate Professor Schottmannâ€™s partners in the projects will be Associate Professor Nicole George from the University of Queensland’s School of Political Science and International Studies, and Dr Gerhard Hoffstaedter from UQ’s School of Social Science.
The Queensland Pacific Islands Internship Scheme complements and builds upon the short-term mobilities and will enable high-quality students (two each from Griffith and UQ) to apply to undertake semester-length internships with regional intergovernmental agencies or national government agencies or local civil society groups.
Students will be given between three and nine thousand dollars in New Colombo Plan funding to participate in these mobilities, and Griffith students will receive 10 or 20 credit points towards completion of their degree.
“New Colombo Plan funding for these projects opens up international education opportunities to a wider range of students, including many who might not otherwise have considered this,” said Adjunct Associate Professor Schottmann.
“We are thrilled to be able to use these monies to foster student interest in the dynamic, and rapidly changing societies of their Pacific neighbours.
â€œStudents who participated in the 2019 mobility round called it transformative and said it changed their view of the region. A couple of them have already gone back to New Caledonia or Fiji for work experiences and internships.â€
For the summer school opportunity, Griffith students need to enrol in 3381LHS after applying via an Expression of Interest. The first trip will be held in Trimester 3/2020.
A similar process will apply for the internship scheme.