Notre Dame expands Asian studies courses

first_imgThe creation of a 2014 summer studies program in India and the on-campus Asian Studies Seminar on China this semester will provide Notre Dame students with the opportunity to further investigate their interest in Asia.According to Inez Suhardjo, director of undergraduate studies at the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, the summer India studies program comes in the wake of Fr. Jenkins’ recent travels to Asia and the announcement of the University’s partnerships with various Asian universities.“We wanted to keep up with the momentum of India being important on campus,” she said.The summer India studies program will allow students to spend two weeks at the St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai while earning three Asian Studies credits, Suhardjo said.“It’s a specially designed program with nine different modules, anything from popular culture, to traditional Indian art, to history,” she said. “It’s going to be a kind of survey introduction to India for any students interested, anyone who wants to get a sense of India, on the ground in India.”Suhardjo said student interest also contributed to the creation of the India summer studies program.“I had met with students at the end of last year, who had either been to India or were from India, and they were saying that Notre Dame just doesn’t have enough [classes] about India,” she said. “This is a way to speak to those concerns and those wishes, for something to do with India programmatically.”  Steph Wulz | The Observer Suhardjo said the summer program is just the first of several programs the University plans to develop with the intent of building stronger ties with India.“There are also some programs in the works for exchange programs, and we’re hoping after this pilot run of our summer India studies program that we can build this from here and make it bigger and better, to have it apply to University requirements,” she said.Students from all majors are encouraged to apply to the program, Suhardjo said.“India is going to be such an important player on the world stage that it’s important for everyone to really think about India on a deeper level, and get to know it and understand its position in the world,” she said. “It’s open to people who are looking to build Asia as a concept in their degrees, so it’s definitely something we’re hoping to get everyone involved and interested in.”As for the Asian Studies Seminar, Suhardjo said this one-credit course is built around a series of guest lecturers and will take place this semester from March 27 to April 4.“It’s a way for us to encourage students to connect with really important, prominent scholars that are coming to campus,” she said.The guest lectures are open to the public, but Suhardjo said visiting scholars will additionally lead small class sessions for students in the Asian Studies Seminar.“This semester we have a couple of very prominent scholars coming from China, and they will be discussing China today, in a historical and religious context,” she said. “One is speaking about the cultural diversity of rural areas, and another will be speaking about philosophical Daoism and Confucianism in China today.”Suhardjo said these programs aim to promote a deeper awareness of global interaction among students.“Both China and India are important, and these programs are a way for us to make sure the Notre Dame community is linked in to what is going on in Asia and seeing how the world is interconnected,” she said.Tags: Asian studies seminar, China, India, Liu Institute, study abroadlast_img read more

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PFZW and Landbouw lead Dutch sustainable investment ranking

first_imgThe €156bn healthcare scheme PFZW and the pension fund for the agricultural sector, Landbouw, performed best on sustainability last year, according to the Association of Investors for Sustainable Development (VBDO). The funds came joint first after being checked against VBDO’s sustainability benchmark, which focuses on governance, policy, implementation and accountability, the organisation said.VBDO, which assessed the investments of the 49 largest pension funds in the Netherlands, said that ABP, Unilever’s Dutch scheme Progress and PNO Media ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively, with the pension funds of ABN AMRO and KLM coming last in the ranking.According to Jacqueline Duiker, interim project maanger at VBDO, governance is gradually increasing in prominence as all pension funds are now discussing the issue of sustainably investing at least once a year. She noted that all the pension funds have a sustainable investment policy in place, aimed at meeting international standards and guidelines, such as the UN’s Global Compact.However, she added that pension funds still fell short with the most important criterion, namely implementation of the policy.“Although pension funds are often able to explain what they don’t want, resulting in exclusion, ESG integration and engagement, they still fall short of positive selection and impact investing.”According to VBDO, pension funds increasingly offer transparancy about their sustainability credentials, “albeit not always monitored by an external auditor”.During the presentation of the survey, Joanne Kellermann, out-going director of pension supervision at regulator De Nederlandsche Bank, underlined the importance of the sustainability benchmark.“Nobody likes to be last on the list,” she said, adding that pension funds’ participants could also benefit from the VBDO’s findings, “as they enabled them to check their scheme’s performance”.last_img read more

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Denis Okot finally departs KCCA FC

first_imgDenis Okot lost his starting place at KCCA FC last season (file photo)Former KCCA FC captain Denis Okot has finally left the reigning Uganda Cup holders for another top tier side.Despite numerous stories linking him to a loan spell at Sam Ssimbwa’s URA FC, the out spoken versatile defender has decided to join Arua based Onduparaka FC.It was confirmed on Monday evening that Okot signed a two year deal at the Caterpillars and the defender was quick to echo out his excitement about joining Onduparaka;“It is just excitement for me to join Onduparaka FC, said Okot.“Honestly, i would not have imagined this happening three or four years ago but here i am, all smiles that am joining them this young and ambitious club.“I believe in this club, I believe it has what it takes to win everything next season and my focus and energy will be to emulate or even do better than what I did with my former Club (KCCA FC).Okot has previously played at Sports Club Villa, Gulu United, Sports Club Victoria University and lately KCCA FC.At KCCA, he won two Uganda Premier League titles and as many Uganda Cups and has been a regular figure for the club during CAF confederation and Champions league despite losing his starting spot in the league to ‘younger and hungry’ players as Mike Mutebi prefers to term them.He lost his captain’s arm-band to Timothy Awanyi at the start of the just concluded UPL season in a move that proved that his time at the Kasasiro Boys was coming to an end.He joins former Maroons defender Richard Ayiko, right back Fred Agandu and forward Amis Muwonge as the new recruits at Onduparaka this summer.Onduparaka FC will begin their pre-season preparations in a week’s time.Onduparaka had their best ever season in the Uganda Premier league last, finishing fourth with 48 points from 30 games.They will clearly be hoping to go at least one place better in terms of league positions as they seem to be improving after each passing season.They joined the top tier after winning the 2015/16 Big League, Uganda’s second tier.Comments Tags: Denis OkotKCCA FConduparaka fclast_img read more

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