Introduction

The aim of the ‘Connecting the Classroom’ student activity is to facilitate learning and a cross-cultural appreciation of a number of international development related topics between a group of students at the Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University (UK), and the Department of International Relations, Universitas Indonesia (Indonesia).  Students participating in this activity have the opportunity to learn from one another as they share, review and comment on the other group’s perspective of the topic. By engaging students from different parts of the world in this way, both sets of students will develop a deeper understanding of the culturally specific and situated nature of our own knowledge that informs our understanding of international issues and topics.

Interactions between both sets of students are moderated by the link tutors, Dr Rory Padfield at Oxford Brookes University and Dr Shofwan al-banna Choiruzzad at Universitas Indonesia.

This teaching and learning activity has been incorporated as part of a British Academy International Partnership and Mobility scheme project. The principal investigator is Dr Adam Tyson (Leeds University) and co-investigator is Dr Helena Varkkey (University Malaya).

Project 5: Sustainable palm oil

Sustainable palm oil, which may seem like a misnomer or a contradiction in terms, has come to represent a key debate in the contemporary Global South. We ask students to analyse the problem of expansion (land conversion causing deforestation) versus intensification (higher yields and extraction rates). We encourage students to debate the prospects for sustainability when economic growth, not biodiversity conservation, is the ultimate goal. Students are expected to address the following questions: How is sustainable palm oil broadly understood in current debates? How should vulnerable smallholders respond to market pressures and conservationist concerns and what incentives are there for better land use management? Ultimately, will environmental sustainability always be sacrificed at the expense of economic growth?

The above presentation is from the students at the Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University (UK). The feedback video from the students at the Department of International Relations, Universitas Indonesia (Indonesia) is coming soon…

Code of Conduct for the Connecting the Classroom online discussion – March 2018

To ensure that the Connecting the Classroom online forum is a positive environment, the Department of Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University (UK), and the Department of International Relations, Universitas Indonesia have developed a code of conduct for the benefit of all users. Please download the PDF document on the top for the Code of Conduct.