The University of Sydney
 COMMENT    |  
A full agenda

The next three months is an important period for our international engagement. Two international forums in August - bringing major speakers from the Asian Development Bank and the OECD to the University - are followed by delegations to Singapore in September and Beijing in October.

A Sydney delegation has also just returned from visiting Latin America, where the strength of our research partnerships may come as a surprise to many. We currently have more than 50 research partnerships and teaching links across the region, involving some of our best academics.

In both Chile and Brazil we met our university counterparts and government agencies to discuss research cooperation, and a new MOU will be signed between the Brazilian Ministry of Higher Education and the GO8. In Chile, the University also hosted a very successful alumni and networking reception at the Ambassador’s residence. 

It was a productive visit to a region with which Australia shares many common issues. The delegation made some important connections which we hope will bear fruit in the near future. 

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 KOREA    |  
Managing water wisely

The University of Sydney has been chosen to manage the 2011 Australia-Korea Next Generation Leaders Program, bringing together specialists in water resource management from the two countries.

The program will allow a group of Australian delegates to travel to Korea in December to take part in leadership briefings, networking events and specialist meetings with their Korean counterparts.

They will also undertake site visits to relevant organisations, and have the opportunity to develop an understanding of contemporary Korean culture and society.

The program, including the selection of candidates, is being managed by the University of Sydney International Leaders Program in the International Portfolio. Its aim is to promote cooperation, leadership and knowledge exchange between Korean and Australian experts.

June Kim, the project coordinator, said: "The NGLP provides a great avenue for Australian water resource managers to build relationships with their counterparts in the Republic of Korea and expand their networks in Australia. It's also an invaluable opportunity for them to learn about Korean culture, society and business over a 10-day period."

See our news story for an application form.

The Australia-Korea Next Generation Leaders Program was founded in 2007, an initiative of the Australia-Korea Foundation in partnership with the Korea Foundation, the University of Sydney International Leaders Program - formerly the Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific - and the National Strategy Institute. It aims to develop the leadership skills of potential and current leaders from the two countries in specifically identified subject areas or themes.

In June 2009, a delegation of 10 young Australian leaders travelled to Korea for an eight-day program focusing on Green growth and renewable energy. The visit was reciprocated in August 2010 when a delegation of young Korean political and environmental leaders visited Australia.

The cost of the program will be met by the respective host country organisations.

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Best-ever result

More than 130 Fellows from 20 developing countries are taking part in training programs in Australia after the University secured $3.6m - its highest-ever funding total - in the latest round of AusAID’s Australian Leadership Awards Fellowships (ALAF) program.

The 12 programs across six faculties – Medicine, Law, Arts (Graduate School of Government), Science, Agriculture and Health Sciences - were secured with help from the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor International.

The ALAF is a competitive grants scheme designed to train emerging leaders and strengthen partnerships in developing countries through short-term capacity building programs in Australia.

Successful projects included climate change in Indonesia, food security in Pakistan, childhood obesity in the Asia-Pacific, public sector education in Cambodia, legislative drafting in East Africa and training of Vietnamese health professionals at Hoc Mai Foundation.

“These capacity building programs provide opportunities to enhance professional experience and develop networks through collaboration with Australian counterparts in the public, private and educational sector,” said Caroline Mullins, the Acting Program Development Manager (Scholarships).

“Through these programs, the University will act as a catalyst for Fellows to further enhance their skills and knowledge in key development areas around the world. At the end of each program, participants will be able to use their skills to build capacity in their home countries. They also provide the opportunity for Fellows and our academics to develop a network of ongoing advice, assistance and collaboration that will contribute to a growing relationship between Australia and the home country of each Fellow.”

Academics from the School of Public Health, Associate Professors Mu Li and Michael Dibley, along with Professor Louise Baur from the Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, received funding to host 25 key senior government officials and researchers from China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia for two weeks in July.

The ultimate goal of the program was to increase capacity of each Fellow’s home government to address the emerging childhood obesity epidemic, and to establish regional dialogue, cooperation and intervention. The program also provided opportunities to enhance professional experience and develop networks through discussions with leading Australian obesity researchers from the Australasian Child and Adolescent Obesity Research Network (ACAORN) and through site visits to Hunter New England Area Health Service and Sydney Southwest Area Health Service.

Professor Mu Li said: “The rapid socio-economic development and urbanisation of China, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia is one of the main causes of the dramatic increase in children being overweight and obese. Australia is a leader in childhood obesity prevention and has expertise in underlying principles such as the  effective engagement of childcare settings, schools, families and the broader community, implementation of whole-of-community interventions, and social marketing. The University of Sydney, through the AusAID funded ALAF program, has been able to create a platform to establish a ‘Childhood Obesity in Asia Collaboration’ to foster ongoing technical and policy exchanges between investigators and policy makers in these countries.Furthermore, it will establish an international dialogue that is greatly needed to combat this rapidly growing global issue”.

AusAID’s ALAF Round 9 Fellowship programs have already commenced and will continue until the end of 2011. Round 10 has closed, with outcomes pending. Round 11 will open on 17 October and close on 23 November.

For further information on AusAID’s ALAF program, contact Caroline Mullins ( or David Boyd ( ) in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor International.



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Visitors from China

Two delegations from China are taking part in International Leaders Program courses at the University, managed by the International Portfolio.

A delegation of 21 senior officials from China’s Ministry of Land and Resources are taking part in a program dealing with land and resource management and mining, covering issues such as sustainable development, environmental law and environmental planning and assessment.

The second group is taking part in the Tianjin Education Leadership Program, an eight-week program for primary and high school leaders. The course is designed to develop their skills in educational leadership and administration, and show how the Australian education sector operates.

The International Leaders program is designed to help the next generation of world leaders achieve their potential by delivering a focused range of leadership, exchange and public diplomacy courses, said Program Manager Margaret Gardoll.


 INDIA    |  
Engineers build bridges

The University of Sydney is strengthening its links with India by signing an agreement with Anna University at Chennai, one of the sub-continent's leading technological universities.

The memorandum of understanding will open the door for academic and research collaboration involving the Faculty of Engineering and IT at Sydney.

Professor Joseph Davis, Associate Dean (International) in the faculty and Professor of Information Systems and Services, said there were exciting possibilities for joint research in areas of great importance to society.

"We are looking to collaborate in fields like biomedical engineering, energy studies, water, high performance computing, power electronics and structural engineering," he said.

Professor John Hearn, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, said: "The University of Sydney is committed to strengthening its engagement with India and forming partnerships with leading Indian institutions.

"We have sent senior delegations to India in each of the past three years, and the pace of change is growing each time we visit. There is much to be gained from cooperation in areas like agriculture, medicine, science, engineering and IT, where we already have productive research partnerships in place with leading Indian institutions."

Sydney has also welcomed students and researchers from India under the World Scholars Program and the Sydney Achievers International Scholarships, and the University recently announced a scholarship scheme in conjunction with the former president of India, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

The memorandum of understanding between the two universities will be signed by Mr David Holly, Consul General in Chennai, on behalf of the University.

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 ADB FORUM    |  
Asia's Unfinished Agenda

Mr Haruhiko Kuroda, President of the Asian Development Bank, was the keynote speaker at a Sydney World Program Forum looking at Asia's economic future, and what it means for Australia.

Mr Kuroda, a former financial advisor to the Japanese Cabinet, spoke about Asia's 'unfinished agenda' - the need for future growth to be socially inclusive and more widely distributed.

The forum was attended by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Michael Spence, and the DVC International, Professor John Hearn, who took part in a panel discussion with Alex Frino, Professor of Finance in the Business School.

Read a news report of the forum here.

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 OECD FORUM    |  
Universities can shape the region's future

Aart de Geus, Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD, will speak at an international forum this month about the role universities can play in shaping the future of the Asia Pacific region.

Mr de Geus, whose portfolio at the OECD includes employment, social affairs and education, will deliver a keynote speech explaining how higher education and research can contribute to the social and economic well-being of the region.

The forum, organised by the Sydney World Program in the International Portfolio, takes place on 30 August in MacLaurin Hall.

Mr de Geus has been Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD since 2007, after spending five years as Minister for Social Affairs and Employment in the Netherlands.

The University is a knowledge partner of the OECD, which this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.

Also speaking at the forum is Christopher Langman, who until recently was Australia's permanent representative to the OECD. The program includes an expert panel discussion, a Q&A session, and three workshops looking in detail at public health, food and water security, and economic and social development.

The forum is open to University staff and students, as well as the general public, but registration is essential.

Event: OECD International Forum with Aart de Geus

Date: 30 August, from 8.30am

Venue: MacLaurin Hall

Registration: Please register here by 24 August

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What future for the Asia-Pacific financial hub?

Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney and Shanghai: four regional powerhouses that are competing with each other to become the dominant financial centre in the Asia-Pacific. Which of them will emerge triumphant - or is the whole 'bricks and mortar' concept of a financial hub now outdated?

Some of the leading financial thinkers in the region will debate the issue at a University of Sydney symposium on Thursday 8 September. Singapore Exchange Chief Executive Magnus Bocker will trade ideas with John Fildes, Co-Chair Asia, FIX Protocol Ltd, and Alex Frino, Professor of Finance at the University of Sydney.



12.15pm to 2pm 

SGX Auditorium,

Level 2, SGX Centre 1,

2 Shenton Way

Please contact Kayla Brock for further details.


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Africa seminar
This month
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The next Africa seminar on 22 September will include a screening of the film War Child as part of the African Film Festival Australia. 

The film follows the life of a former Sudanese child soldier turned musician, Emanual Jal.

Click here to watch a trailer for the film, and contact Nesril Varol for details of the screening.

Tuesday 30 August
Register here for the OECD International Forum with Aart de Geus
> Read the text of the speech by Haruhiko Kuroda, President of the ADB, to the International Forum at the University on 17 August.
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