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 and student recruitment in the region.

Collaboration in action

Diagnosing tuberculosis in an hour

A new blood test enables health workers to identify tuberculosis (TB) in adults in remote locations in less than an hour. UQ Emeritus Professor Ian Riley collaborated on the research with the Broad Institute in Massachusetts and the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine in Manila, Philippines. Professor Riley said the discovery came from using machine learning techniques to study three groups of adults who had a persistent cough for more than three weeks. Mortality from TB is declining but it remains the world’s 10th highest cause of death, causing 1.3 million deaths annually. The new blood test meets minimum World Health Organization standards and opens the way for further work towards its clinical application.

Playing for peace

School of Social Sciences anthropologist Dr Gerhard Hoffstaedter has spent more than 15 years researching identity politics, Islam and irregular migration in Malaysia. He documents the life of urban refugees in Malaysia, and is an honorary advisor to ‘The Kick Project’, a Brisbane-based non-government organisation using the power of sport to help Rohingya refugees living in Malaysia better integrate into their new home.

Making ocean change visible online

Researchers at UQ and in South-East Asia – Indonesia, East Timor, and Philippines – have collaborated on the XL Catlin Seaview Survey – a global science and communication project that is recording and analysing data from the world’s coral reefs. For the first time, coral reefs are now recorded by the XL Catlin Global Reef Record providing free, comprehensive, baseline data to scientists (and general public). The data is used to study and monitor the current health of these fragile ecosystems, and changes over time. XL Catlin are the founding partner and title sponsor; UQ is one of four founding partners alongside Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF) and Underwater Earth.

Preserving marine life and food security

UQ and James Cook University are the only two Australian institutions to have a memorandum of understanding with the Coral Triangle Initiative (CTI), a multilateral partnership of six countries working together to sustain marine and coastal resources. The Indonesian Government built a new CTI-Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security regional secretariat building, investing US$5.5 million towards the CTI Centre. Marine expert Professor Peter Mumby contributed to the formulation of the new CTI Regional Plan of Action. As part of the plan, UQ will lead a new regional research project that develops transboundary resources management between Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines to expand the CTI University Partnerships program across the region.

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.


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


Chairman at National Education Policy Commission (NEPC); Yezin Agricultural University Rector (Master of Agricultural Studies 1989)

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

Former Vice-Chancellor, INTI International University; International Alumnus of the Year 2015 (PhD, 1986)

Former Vice-Chancellor, University of Selangor; International Alumnus of the Year 2007 (Bachelor of Engineering 1974)

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

Chief Commercial Officer (Guardian of the Brand) at Soneva, Thailand (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Journalism 2004)