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23 Nov 2021

APU Aim to Produce Sustainably Conscious Leaders with International Relations Programme

Following the recent global pandemic and rising climate issues, there is an urgent need for a global cooperation resolution.

“Environmental problems do not stop at borders. Think for example about overfishing or transboundary pollution,” says Dr Daniel Ruiz De Garibay Ponce, International Relations lecturer from Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU).

Solutions are needed to transcend national borders — to address both climate change and the pandemic in order to shape a 21st century economy that’s clean, safe and more resilient.

This is where the discipline of international relations comes in.

APU to produce sustainably conscious leaders

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APU is one of the few universities in Malaysia to respond to the call by embedding a topic on Environmental Politics & Sustainability in its BA (Hons) in International Relations programme curriculum.

According to Dr Daniel, International Relations students at APU are exposed to a wide range of global environmental problems in their curriculum, such as deforestation, pollution and depletion of resources. In fact, students learn from real-life case studies like the development of sustainable solutions in palm oil plantations and nature-based solutions to combat climate change.

“This global mindset, together with the technical skills to understand, analyse and design different policy options, equip our students for whatever career path they may choose, be it in government, international organisations, businesses or civil society organisations,” he says.

Third-year Bachelor of International Relations student Annie Sabrina Alexandra Low highlights that International Relations is a broad and diversified field of study, stating that it has broadened her way of thinking through the different types of assignments, presentations, tutorials and research about regional and global issues.

On the practical skills gained at APU, Low says, “Through one of the modules, conflict journalism, I have learned a lot in terms of identifying the dissemination of fake news and the necessity of using different news sources instead of relying on one particular news platform to avoid biases.”

“And through crisis management, I’ve learned a lot on how to respond to different sources of conflict and the importance of having good PR to mitigate and prevent chaos and avoiding a huge crisis from escalating.”

APU’s Bachelor of International Relations 

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Other modules that are embedded into the 3-year programme include Globalisation 4.0, Revolution, Popular Uprising and Social Movement in World Politics, Global Comparative Politics, International Political Economy, International Security, Global Diplomacy, Transnational Organised Crime, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, Refugees, and Immigrants.

APU School of Business head Associate Prof Dr Jason Turner stresses the need to expose students not only with a multi-faceted set of employability skills but also with awareness on international issues.

“What we attempt to infuse in our students’ global mindset are the ‘softer’ employability skills so graduates are emotionally aware, can construct sustainable relationships and provide imaginative solutions to tackle the complex challenges impacting Malaysia and across the globe.”

Career options include being a diplomat, intelligence analyst, military officer, political analyst, lobbyist, international organisation officer, policy officer and journalist.

Not to mention, students under the BA (Hons) in International Relations can also opt-in for the APU-DMU dual-award degree scheme and get 2 degree certificates and transcripts upon graduation — from APU and De Montfort University (DMU), UK. There’s also an option to participate in the CMI L5 award in management and leadership, which will be moderated by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), UK.

According to the latest Annual Graduate Tracer Study by the Higher Education Ministry, 100% of APU graduates were employed upon graduation.

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