Indonesia Forward

Indonesian jungle guide making tea
“Tea Time” by Jessica Vandenberg, third place, URI Research and Scholarship Contest

Marine affairs Ph.D. student Vandenberg captured this moment from her fieldwork in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, last summer. Island hill communities are learning to adapt to tourism and development. Here, a jungle guide in the Malino Highlands is making tea for clients.

A partnership forged between the University of Rhode Island and Indonesia features faculty-led classes and educational trips abroad, Indonesian government officials studying at URI, and numerous research projects designed to support the country’s sustainable fisheries, coastal management, higher-education capacity building, and economic development. A dual degree program is under review in which graduate students will complete half of their requirements at URI and half in Indonesia.

Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world and has one of the world’s largest economies. Its 18,000 islands straddle the equator and span 3,000 miles. Much of the expertise the country needs for its fisheries, marine policy, and sustainable development could be provided by URI faculty.

URI President David Dooley said he expects the partnership to have a significant impact.

“It’s my conviction that Indonesia is now—and will be for the foreseeable future—one of the most important countries in Southeast Asia with regard to its economy, its influence in the region, and its aspirations to become a more prominent player on the global scene,” Dooley said.

Read more about the partnership—and Indonesia’s pressing development issues—in “Indonesia Forward,” featured in the summer 2018 issue of QuadAngles.