Miri – 17 September 2013 – Two project proposals by Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia (Curtin Sarawak) have been awarded funding under the AsiaBound Grants Programme 2014.
The grants amounting to AU37 million is a response to the Asian Century White Paper that sets out a strategic framework to guide Australia’s navigation of the Asian Century and a series of actions that will be taken over the next five years.
The programme provides grants to approximately 3,600 Australian students each year to enrol in short-term mobility programmes in Asia such as internships, clinical placements, study tours, research trips or volunteer projects for up to six months.
It offers Australian students with a first-hand study experience of Asia and enhances their skills and expertise through access to a variety of study opportunities in Asia. In addition, it also increases collaboration and partnerships between Australian and Asian higher education and vocational institutions.
Curtin Sarawak’s projects, ‘Professional Practice in Primary Education: An exposure to different cultural environments in Sarawak’ and ‘The Peoples and Cultures of Borneo 101 Intensive Short Course’, will be offered in 2014.
The ‘Professional Practice in Primary Education: An exposure to different cultural environments in Sarawak’ project aims to provide a practical experience to students specialising in primary education at the Faculty of Humanities at Curtin University’s main campus at Bentley in Perth, Western Australia.
Students engage in a three-week programme that will take place in various schools in Miri. These include a public school for local indigenous communities in the rural areas; a public school in a city setting; a local private school; and an international school with students of different nationalities including those from Asian countries. This will allow them to test their skills and competencies, as well as give them an accelerated learning experience in a true international context in Asia, including the cultural elements.
Meanwhile, the project ‘The Peoples and Cultures of Borneo 101 Intensive Short Course’ is offered as an elective to students from any faculty. It is an introductory course that provides a broad background description of the geo-cultural and social make-up of Borneo (Sarawak, Sabah, Brunei and Kalimantan).
On top of that, it covers significant phases in the socio-historical evolution of Borneo such as the Brooke rule, Japanese occupation, British colonialism and more. The two-week course is supplemented with interactive experiences, including field trips with indigenous community members. Students will engage in traditional cultural practices such as beading, weaving, dancing and the tasting of traditional foods.
Capitalising on Borneo’s exotic image, this course caters to the youth adventure tourism sector and the education tourism sector for students based in Western Australia. The course encourages students to become more Asia-literate through the combination of authentic interactions with local communities, outdoor activities and interactive lectures.
Overall, the course’s desired outcomes are for students to be able to demonstrate intercultural awareness and understanding; recognise and apply international perspectives to contemporary situations; assess the historical forces pertinent to the contemporary social-cultural structure of Borneo; and describe, evaluate and communicate effectively the results of their research findings and analyses to fellow classmates and the broader university community in an oral presentation.
For more information on Curtin Sarawak, visit its website at www.curtin.edu.my, its Facebook page at facebook.com/CurtinUniversitySarawakMalaysia, Twitter profile at twitter.com/curtinsarawak, YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/CurtinUniSarawak, or Instagram at instagram.com/curtinsarawak.