By Tiffany Molina
September 15 & 16 at the William T. Young Library, the University of Kentucky will host the annual Indonesia Focus Conference for the second time, stemming from years of continued partnership and research.
The conference, which was established in 2008, was started by the Asian Society for International Relations and Public Affairs (ASIRPA) with the intention of expanding the network of partnerships between U.S. universities and Indonesian universities.
UK has been working with Indonesian universities for years fostering great relationships with different universities in the country. The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, particularly, has participated in a variety of research initiatives with Indonesia and are bringing the conference to UK for the second time.
Michael Reed, professor in the college of agriculture, food and environment, explained just how important this partnership is. “Our relationship with various universities in Indonesia allows our faculty, students, and staff to obtain a more diverse experience in teaching/learning, research, and service. This collaboration can happen in Indonesia or on campus at UK,” Reed said.
Reed described the benefits of this partnership and their continued efforts together. “We share some common elements in our approach to these activities with our Indonesian partners, but in other aspects our experiences and problems are different,” Reed said.
“That allows us to broaden our insights and achieve our objectives as a university more fully through the interaction and study with them. We also understand more about the world where we live and we improve our work with people in the Commonwealth,” Reed explained.
The Indonesia Focus Conference’s theme this year is Indonesia’s role in world development. In the past years, researchers have presented work related to teaching English as a foreign language, religion, health, technology, engineering, agriculture and so on. Nurhaya Muchtar, Ph.D., communications media department associate professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, president of ASIRPA and conference organizer, stressed the importance of the event.
“We are hoping attendees and use this venue to share their knowledge, research experience and learn from each other. We also hope that attendees use this conference to create networking in research as well as establishing partnership between universities they work for and universities who will be represented,” Muchtar said.
Topics for this year include:
- “Indonesia’s Growing Inequality: Causes & Impact”
- Presented by Dr. Fadhil Hassan
- Hassan is a proud UK alumnus, chairman of supervisory board of Indonesia and Central Bank member of national committee for economy and industry.
- “Disruptive Innovation, is that what Indonesia Needs Today?”
- Conversation led by Soleh Ayubi, Ph.D
- Ayubi is the director of engineering at the Advanced Technology Center Innovation Research & Development in the United Healthcare Group.
- “Food Security & Agriculture in Indonesia”
- Presented by Dr. Michael Reed
- Reed has been a longtime advocate of ASIRPA and the focus conference, having done extensive research on Indonesia. He is a professor of agricultural economics and the director of the office of international program of agriculture at UK’s college of agriculture, food and environment.
These three speakers are only a few of the experts featured at the conference, which promises great insight to Indonesia and its role in this rapidly changing world. For more information on the conference, please visit: http://www.conference.indonesiafocus.net.