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

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.

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.

Student mobility

Strengthening legal education in Thailand

In 2019, the UQ Pro Bono Centre received 12 grants for students to undertake a six-week internship at BABSEACLE, a Chiang Mai-based NGO established to strengthen legal education and access to justice collaborations between Australia and the South-East and South-Asia region. 

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 program has grown to where it reliably brings in 40-50 students each year. The School of Psychology and the Health and Behavioural Sciences faculty provide a 100 per cent full tuition fee scholarship for every 20 JIPP students. To date, there have been 336 students to commence studies at UQ via this arrangement.   


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


Advisor, Golden Plain Local NGO; former Chairman at National Education Policy Commission and 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)