ARI NUS Fellowship 2016: A Record Year of Opportunity for CRCS Students

Farihatul Qamariyah | CRCS | News

DSCF2176Over the last several years, students from the Center for Religious and Cross-cultural Studies (CRCS) Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, have been participating in the annual Graduate Student Fellowship Program hosted by Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. Started in 2005, this program offers graduate students working in the Asian topics related to the Humanities and Social Sciences from different universities and countries around Southeast Asia to spend two months based at the Asia Research Institute where they are mentored by ARI researchers and collaborate with other fellows from around the region as well as utilizing the wide range of resources in the libraries of NUS and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute). This fellowship culminates with a conference for the fellows as well as other students from the region to present their research at the end of the program. During the program, the fellow students  are able to participate in any seminars held in ARI and other institutions based in NUS. ARI also arranges a professional mentor, either an NUS lecturer or ARI scholar, for each of the students to offer personal consultation and advise according to each student’s research interest and topic. Since the primary goal of this program is to produce an academic paper that will be presented in the Graduate Forum, ARI organizes a course in Academic English Writing and Communication. These kind of activities effectively support the fellow students to improve their academic expertise as well as enrich the international experiences through the daily interaction and discussion. This year, ARI invited fellows from more diverse  backgrounds compared with the previous year. There are fellows from the following countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, China, India and USA.

This year, five students of CRCS are invited to join the Asian Graduate Student Fellowship from May 22nd – July 15th 2016, two from the 2013 batch (Fredy Torang and Yoga Khoiri Ali) and three from the 2014 batch (Abdul Mujib, Aziz Anwar Fachrudin, and Farihatul Qamariyah). Two more (Partigor Daud Sihombing and Subandri Simbolon) have been selected as presenters at the Graduate Forum that will be held in July 2016. The fellows from CRCS bring research projects connected to their thesis projects that are especially related to ARI’s topic clusters including Cultural Studies in Asia and Religion and Globalization. Mujib’s project is entitled “The Relevant of Interreligious Relations in Shaping of Experience in Diversity and Pluralist Attitude” and examines the case of one multi – religious village located in Yogyakarta. Aziz’s research on ISIS discourse is titled “Indonesian Islamist Ideological Responses to the Islamic State”. Qamariyah’s research focuses on the issues of gender, religion and business and is entitled “Women, Islam, and Economic Activity by Examining the Religious Ethics of Muslim Business Women in Indonesia”. Fredy’s topic of research is “Faith Based Organization in Humanitarian Diplomacy: A Case Study of the Jesuit Refugee in Yogyakarta” and Yoga’s research examines “The Spirituality of Rain Water from the South East Slope of Mountain Merapi”. These various topics are expected to contribute significantly to the Asia Research Institute’s interests.

The participation of CRCS’ students in this fellowship for over ten years is a demonstration of the center’s academic track record on the international academic stage. “It is almost a tradition that CRCS UGM students have almost always been in the list of Asian Graduate Student Fellowships ARI – NUS recipient since the first batch”, said Ida Fitri Astuti (Batch 2013) who participated in this program last year. She also testified to the great benefit of this graduate fellowship program for her academic improvement and international network based on her own experiences. “This program is a kind of salad bowl which gathers Asian students to meet up each other, learn and bound together by “academic dressing” produced by the excellent staff and scholars of ARI – NUS.” This testimony was also confirmed by another CRCS’ student who is now experiencing the turn. “This place is like an academic heaven, a lot of literatures and academic sources are available here. ARI NUS provides us a great facility and possibility to explore and utilize the academic prosperity by the services. It is an extremely exciting!” said Fredi Torang through his first excitement living in the new environment.

Based on the documentation, about twenty seven students of CRCS have been Asian Graduate Student Fellows, starting with Ali Burhan in 2006, the program’s second year. Since then,CRCS participants have been Chandra Utama and Maufur in 2007; Akhmad Siddiq, Muhammad Endy Saputro and Ferry Muhammadsyah Siregar in 2008;  Amanah Nurish and Saipul Hamdi in 2009; and Ruby Emy Astuti and Jimmy Immanuel Marcos in 2010. 2011 was the previous record year with four students: Mega Hidayati, Yudith Listiandri, Muhammad Rokib and Dian Maya Safitri. Only one student, Darwin Darmawan, was chosen in 2012. Anwar Masduki and I Made Arsana Dwiputra participated in 2013. Two students, Ida Fitri Astuti and Sulfia Lilin Nurindah Sari, were able to attend in 2015, with another, Hary Widyantoro, joining as a presenter in the Graduate Forum. Thus, when the five fellows are joined by the two presenters, this year of 2016 has the highest number of CRCS students selected as Asian Graduate Student Fellows and Graduate Forum presenters: seven. This is our challenge to the batches that follow us.



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