Durham alumnus and Indonesian Ambassador to the UK, Dr Desra Percaya, led a delegation to Durham University this week.
Closer relations with Indonesia
It was a great honour to welcome Dr Percaya to back to Durham. We have a growing Indonesia student body and are engaging in a range of interesting projects with partners across Indonesia. The visit was an opportunity to expand the relations between the University and Indonesia, following a visit in November to the country led by Professor Claire O’Malley, the University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global). During the earlier trip, Professor O’Malley signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Universitas Indonesia to promote the exchange of students, staff and researchers, advance joint research and further the exchange of information, and visited Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) to discuss opportunities for joint research, education, and exchange.
Our Vice-Chancellor and Warden, Professor Karen O’Brien joined the visitors to further build the relationship and to explore opportunities for research collaboration, which could potentially include climate change and energy, global health, low carbon and sustainable development, education and emerging technology.
The Indonesian government is keen to encourage collaboration with prestigious overseas institutions as part of a strategy to share skills and knowledge in key areas. The Indonesian education system is the fourth largest in the world with more than 50 million students, 3 million teachers, 300,000 education institutions nationwide.
One of Durham’s major research collaborations with Indonesia was the Indonesia: Java Flood Oneproject led by the University’s Department of Earth Sciences, in partnership with colleagues from The Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).
Other research linking Durham and Indonesia includes projects looking at water harvesting, air pollution, flood forecasting, landslide susceptibility and adaptability and health interventions in volcanic eruptions.
A Durham University PhD graduate in Politics from 2000, Dr Percaya was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Kingdom in 2020. Dr Percaya was accompanied on the visit by Professor Khairul Munadi, who is the Education and Culture Attaché in the Embassy of Indonesia in London, and Mr Allessandro Bernama, who joined the Indonesian Embassy in August 2021.
Other roles held by Dr Percaya include Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the United Nations in New York, and Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Indonesia to the World Trade Organization and other international organisations.