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29 November 2011
Deakin University's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, will deliver the keynote address this week at Aceh's Annual International Conference to commemorate Syiah Kuala University 50th anniversary, Banda Aceh.
This will be the first time Professor den Hollander has visited Aceh and Jakarta in her official capacity as the University's Vice-Chancellor. (28 November to 2 December).
As well as hosting a Deakin Alumni and Awards Presentations evening, Professor den Hollander will have high-level strategic discussions with senior university, government and embassy representatives.
Professor den Hollander will also meet the graduates, partners and University staff involved in helping rebuild the country's education sector which was devastated in the 2004 Tsunami. Rebuilding the Education sector has been a priority in the reconstruction effort.
Professor den Hollander said an international outlook is an essential part of being a modern university.
"However, at Deakin our approach is a bit different - we believe that we can best achieve our goals by working in partnership with valued overseas institutions such as Syiah Kuala University," she said.
"This partnership benefits both universities and their broader communities."
Professor den Hollander said Deakin has longstanding connections with Indonesia, centred on the Faculty of Arts and Education's Engaging Indonesia strategy.
"This strategy has allowed Deakin staff and students to develop a deeper understanding of Indonesian culture, society and language," she said.
"Equally, these partnership links have contributed to genuine institutional and personal friendships.
"I have heard a lot about Deakin's strategic partnership with Aceh from the Faculty's Associate Dean International, Professor Ian Robottom and the former Dean of the Faculty, Professor Jennifer Radbourne, who was instrumental in setting up the project.
"So I look forward to meeting and speaking with those involved about their experiences as well as seeing things for myself."
Professor den Hollander said the University's postgraduate dual degree program was at the heart of the partnership.
"Under this program, Acehnese first degree graduates undertake postgraduate studies at Syiah Kuala University in Aceh before coming to Australia for Deakin's Masters program," she said.
"This means they complete two complementary postgraduate awards relevant to their planned professional careers in Aceh.
"These students then play a pivotal role in providing educational leadership in Banda Aceh and regional and rural centres throughout the province.
"With our help, these young graduates, who are highly motivated and successful with a 100% retention and success rate with excellent academic results, are playing a lead role in the creation of a new education sector.
"This is a prime example of the transformative power of education."
Deakin Media Relations
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