Published on 26 March 2014
The University of the Sunshine Coast has been awarded $3.88 million in Australian Government aid funding to help teachers strengthen their skills and boost outcomes for school students across Indonesia’s Papua province.
USC’s International Projects Group was awarded the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade funding for a large Government Partnership For Development initiative called ‘Increasing education capacity in Papua, Indonesia’.
USC Professor Emeritus Merv Hyde, Academic Director of the International Projects Group, said his team was thrilled to start the project this month.
“This is enduring recognition of USC’s capacity and our place in this highly-contested and competitive sector,” he said.
Expected to take two and a half years, the project will involve more than 20 academic staff from the University, research partners the Australian Council of Education Research, Education Queensland and schools across the Sunshine Coast.
USC academic Dr Bill Allen will lead the teaching and staff development components and the project will be administered by IPG Manager Suzanne Burford.
Professor Hyde said there would be teaching, research and exchange opportunities for USC staff and students, with most of the project operating in Papua and some components delivered on campus at Sippy Downs.
“In Papua we’ll be working with teachers and principals from primary, secondary and special education schools, provincial and district education officials, and tertiary teacher educators,” he said.
“There will be particular focus on the rural and highland regions. We want to engage educators in systemic change towards increased teacher competency, stronger curriculum outcomes, more supportive and inclusive school environments and the production of learning materials.”
The project builds on USC’s established relationship with the Department of Education, Youth and Sport in the Papua province.
The Government Partnerships for Development program supports activities by Australian public sector organisations, including universities, and their counterparts in countries receiving Australian official development assistance.
These activities must focus on assisting the economic development and welfare of the partner developing country, including the transfer of skills, knowledge and expertise.
— Julie Schomberg