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Indonesian universities explore collaboration with iSLanDS thanks to British Council

7 December, 2015
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We are excited to share that our research fellow Dr Nick Palfreyman has spent the past few weeks exploring sign language research cooperation in Indonesia.

His four-week trip was funded by the British Council’s Second City Higher Education Partnerships Travel Grant (£3,000), as one of 23 recipients in the UK. He visited universities in Makassar (Sulawesi) and Padang (Sumatra), giving workshops and meeting with senior staff to discuss potential partnerships. In each city Nick also worked with local deaf people, raising awareness on sign language research.

He explained: ‘Sign language linguistics is not yet established as an area for Indonesia’s universities, but we know that research and teaching on this topic are vital for the development of the Indonesian deaf community. The workshops brought together academics and deaf community members, and feedback from these participants has been very positive. We are now putting together a follow-up plan.’

The trip took place in conjunction with Muhammad Isnaini from PUPET, our Indonesian research hub, and together they also delivered awareness training to British Council staff.

Nick added: ‘We are very grateful to British Council directors Teresa Birks, Summer Xia and their teams; to David Gil and his team at the MPI Field Station; and to staff members of the State University of Makassar (UNM), Hasnaruddin University (UNHAS), Bung Hatta University (UBH) and Andalas University (UNAND) for their part in making the trip a success.’

We would like to congratulate Nick and Muhammad on their trailblazing work, and look forward to sharing more news about collaborations between iSLanDS and our Indonesian colleagues here soon.

01

Nick gives deaf awareness training to staff at the British Council, opened by Country Director Sally Goggin (left) and Regional Director for East Asia, Mark Walker (right), as part of Diversity Week

02

Muhammad teaches the staff how to fingerspell using the Indonesian Sign Language (BISINDO) alphabet.

04

At the State University of Makassar (UNM), one of iSLanDS’s partners, Nick holds a workshop for 30 academics on sign language research

09

Nick presenting at a workshop at Andalas University, Padang, with Santi Kurniati, one of the local organisers

12

Three local deaf community members display their sign language skills for participants during the workshop in Padang

07

A press conference in Padang for the local and national media (left to right: Nick, Muhammad, the British Council’s Director for Education and Society, Teresa Birks, and BISINDO interpreter Hasby Biasafil)

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