Universities in South-East Asia offer interesting opportunities for joint challenge-based research and community-oriented (service-learning) education. The University of Malaysia Sarawak is particularly strong in community outreach. They started this in 2017, in collaboration with Cornell University in the US, and have over the years collected a wealth of digitized data and field experience related to indigenous knowledge in Sarawak. We at VU can learn and make grateful use of these data and of their interesting case studies.
A memorandum of understanding between VU and UNIMAS, signed in 2018, has materialized in joint education in a course called “ICT4D in the Field”, which is now an elective course at VU for Computer Science, Information Science and AI master students, in which VU students do interesting community-oriented group assignments about “Artificial Intelligence in and for the Globals South” together with students from UNIMAS.
In October 2022 a delegation of the Centre for International Cooperation and the Computer Science Department visited UNIMAS again, through the Erasmus+ program for staff mobility. The VU-team facilitated a curriculum review and a workshop on academic writing & dissemination for academic staff of UNIMAS. Two other highlights of this visit: Prof. Jaap Gordijn was appointed visiting professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business of UNIMAS and emeritus prof. Hans Akkermans has been appointed visiting professor at the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology of UNIMAS and has become involved in several curriculum reviews. Prof. Hans gave his inaugural address on 23 October 2022 at UNIMAS, in the presence of the Dean and many researchers and lecturers from UNIMAS.
This activity is made possible though a grant from the EU in the Erasmus+ program KA-107.