Envisioning Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean Studies

In preparation for the 2024 International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS) and also the establishment of the Airlangga Institute of Indian Ocean Crossroads (AIIOC), several delegates from Universitas Airlangga and the International Institute of Asian Studies (IIAS) held a meeting at Hotel Bumi Surabaya on February 15-17 2023. At this juncture, AIIOC had not been officially and legally established. The IIAS delegation consisted of international academics from several universities, such as Leiden University (Netherlands), Kasetsart University (Thailand), University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands), University of Cheikh Anta Diop (Senegal), University of Zambia (Zambia), and University of T (Estonia). The delegation from AIIOC consisted of representatives from the 4 founding faculties of AIIOC, namely the Faculty of Humanities, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, and Faculty of Public Health. Also present were Prof. Dr. Ni Nyoman Tri Puspaningsih, M.Sc. as Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Community Development at Universitas Airlangga to give a remark and presentation of material related to global strategy and the direction of studies to be carried out by Universitas Airlangga.

 

 This meeting is the first step in designing AIIOC as a study center that does not only focus on research programs on a national scale alone, but also on a global scale. The discussion was led by Lina Puryanti, Ph.D., and Irfan Wahyudi, Ph.D., as representatives from AIIOC, and Philippe Peycam Ph.D. as director of IIAS. The event started with presentations on research groups and study centers that already exist in the 4 founding faculties of AIIOC. This presentation was made for the purpose of a comparative study as well as concrete evidence that Universitas Airlangga has a track record of establishing significant study centers. After the presentation sessions for each study center, the event continued with discussions between the AIIOC and IIAS delegates. This session was conducted in the context of exchanging ideas as well as benchmarking against IIAS to formulate an organizational structure as well as programs that should be carried out by AIIOC.

 

This meeting produced several results which were further planned by AIIOC. Some of them are formulations related to the initiation of research programs that are important to be carried out in a transdisciplinary and multisectoral manner, creating a website as a digital ‘home’ for AIIOC, content dissemination through various media (news articles, newsletters, podcasts, popular articles, short videos, etc.), fellowships, to programs that involve all levels of society. Through this meeting, AIIOC and Universitas Airlangga as represented by Prof. Dr. Ni Nyoman Tri Puspaningsih, M.Sc., Universitas Airlangga hopes that increased collaboration between academics and the public on a global scale can occur, so that the problems that are currently entangling all sectors can be optimally resolved.