UQ and South-East Asia

UQ in Indonesia and Vietnam

UQ has an office in Indonesia and a representative on the ground in Vietnam to foster engagement with universities, government agencies, corporate networks, and non-governmental organisations, and to support alumni in the region.

Collaboration in action

Keeping tourism competitive in the Philippines

Tourism is an important sector for the Philippine economy, with the country's biodiverse natural resources and rich cultural heritage attracting travellers from around the world. Nonetheless, competition from the South-East Asian region is tough and threatens sustained economic growth. In response, UQ International Development (UQID) – part of the Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education (ICTE) – is involved in a capacity building project with the Philippine Department of Tourism. Partially funded by the Asian Development Bank, the project focuses on supporting regulatory reform, raising accommodation standards, and developing skills. So far, it has targeted Bohol, Cebu, Davao, and Palawan.

Rethinking orangutan conservation efforts

A population trend analysis of Bornean orangutans reveals that, despite decades of conservation work, the species is declining rapidly. Every year USD 30-40 million is invested by governmental and non-governmental organisations to halt the decline of wild populations. These funds are not effectively spent according to a new study led by UQ School of Biological Sciences researcher Dr Truly Santika, also of the Australian Research Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). The study used advanced modelling techniques that allowed the combination of different survey methods. The new approach facilitated the break-through and, for the first time, enabled researchers to determine population trends of the species over time.

UQ helps protect Malaysia’s marine life

A six-year collaboration between the Malaysian Government and UQ has resulted in the creation of Malaysia’s biggest marine protected area. UQ Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science researcher Dr Carissa Klein said the marine region at the northern tip of Borneo was globally significant for its marine life and diverse habitats including coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass, and threatened species including dugong, and sea turtles. “We taught the World Wildlife Fund-Malaysia and Sabah Parks to use Marxan, an environmental mathematical decision software package developed by UQ, to help create the region’s 898,000-hectare Tun Mustapha Park,” Dr Klein said.

The fight to save Myanmar's built heritage

As a nascent investment boom drives demand for new hotels, apartments, and office buildings throughout Myanmar, the country's historic colonial buildings are at risk of dereliction or demolishment. In response, Australian design consultancy firm Conrad Gargett Riddel (GCR), along with researchers from UQ International Development (part of the Institute of Continuing & TESOL Education) and the School of Architecture, led an Australia Awards Short Course on heritage conservation and adaptive reuse. The collaboration has supported a number of architects, planners, and academics from Myanmar to visit historic sites in Brisbane – including UQ's St Lucia campus – and receiving ongoing support from the UQ-CGR team in Yangon. 

Student mobility

Healthcare in Timor-Leste

UQ has a burgeoning relationship with the Centre for National Rehabilitation in Dili, Timor-Leste. In May 2017, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech pathology students provided healthcare and rehabilitation services in Timor-Leste for the 4th time. Students followed a clinical supervision model and developed sustainable strategies to improve community access to rehabilitation options. The program helps students build an ethos of international collaboration and cooperation, and to gain an understanding of global health perspectives in a culturally diverse context.

Thai psychology partnership

Since 2010, Thailand's Chulalongkorn University (Chula) and UQ have offered a Joint International Psychology Program, with 2 scholarships available to top-performing undergraduates. Students complete 2 years in Chula's International Psychology program, followed by 1.5 years at UQ's School of Psychology, before returning to Chula for a final semester. The students graduate with a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from UQ and a Bachelor of Science (Psychology) from Chula. Almost 100 students have enrolled in the program – the first of its kind for Chula.

Law internship in Myanmar

The UQ Pro Bono Centre, part of the TC Beirne School of Law, encourages law students to study in Myanmar as part of its Clinical Legal Education course. In 2016, UQ students Ashley Chandler, Tammy Tang, and Phoebe Kelly were selected to provide clinical education and English training to law students from Taunggyi University – one of Myanmar's biggest universities. The internship included intensive training in Yangon on interactive teaching methods, access to justice, and ethics, as well as field trips to the Yangon Rule of Law Centre and the Yangon Justice Centre. The partnership is part of the non-profit justice project, Bridges Across Borders South-East Asia Community Legal Education Initiative.

Engineers Without Borders in Cambodia

The UQ Employability Centre has funded a number of UQ students to take part in the Humanitarian Design Summit in Cambodia, a study tour designed to highlight the role engineering and technology play in positive community change. Bachelor of Engineering/Science student Talia Rose said the summit – an initiative of Engineers Without Borders – highlighted what motivates passionate people to improve community engagement and deliver solutions, often in regional and remote locations. Ms Rose is a member of the Engineers Without Borders UQ Charter – one of more than 200 student clubs and societies offered on-campus.


UQ has more than 12,740 alumni in South-East-Asia – our largest international alumni community. Alumni from or working in the region include:

Abelardo Apollo David, Jr

Abelardo has been recognised in the Philippines for his work assisting children with disabilities. He is an Australia Awards alumnus and graduated with a Master of Occupational Therapy Studies from UQ. 

Ploi Kerativirachkarn

Ploi, from Thailand, recently graduated with a Master of Business from UQ. She was chosen as a Brisbane International Student Ambassador in 2014. Thai video | ថៃ

Panhanon No

Panhanon, from Cambodia, recently graduated with a Bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management from UQ. He was chosen as a Brisbane International Student Ambassador in 2014. Khmer video | ខ្មែរ

Australian Ambassador to Cambodia (Bachelor of Economics 1988)
Australian Ambassador to Timor-Leste (Bachelor of Arts 1983; Bachelor of Laws 1984; Bachelor of Arts (Hons) 1985)
Australian Ambassador to Laos (Bachelor of Arts 1991; Bachelor of Laws 1994)
Dr Myo Kywe

Yezin Agricultural University Rector (Master of Agricultural Studies 1989)
Naing Koko

Rotary Peace Fellow and political activist (Master of International Relations 2013)

Vice-Chancellor, INTI International University; International Alumnus of the Year 2015 (PhD, 1986)
Datuk Dr Rosti Saruwono

Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Selangor; International Alumnus of the Year 2007 (Bachelor of Engineering 1974)
Tan Sri Dato Abdul Khalid Ibrahim

14th Chief Minister of the Malaysian state of Selangor; International Alumnus of the Year 2002 (Master of Business Administration 1976 and Doctor of Science honoris causa 1996)

Deputy Head of Mission, Malaysia (Bachelor of Economics (Hons), Bachelor of Arts in Mandarin Chinese)