15 November 2019
Two senior lecturers in Politics and International Relations have headed to Bogotá with a group of students.
On 3 November Dr Chris Wilson and Dr Thomas Gregory, senior lecturers in Politics and International Relations, head to Colombia with 20 students.
The group was awarded a Prime Minister’s Group Scholarship for Latin America (PMSLA) and they will spend four weeks at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Last year, the government opened an embassy in Bogotá, an indication of the growing importance of Colombia to New Zealand. The agreement with Los Andes is the University’s first exchange agreement with a Colombian university.
Chris is the co-ordinator of the Master of Conflict and Terrorism Studies (MCTS) programme and the students are mostly MCTS students. They’re undertaking a programme delivered by Los Andes University, which is a University of Auckland partner and the top university in Colombia. It’s a four-week intensive course on peace-building efforts in the country.
Thomas says the trip is an opportunity for everyone to learn about the conflict and peace process in Colombia and its transition to a post-conflict society.
“They’ll study the causes and consequences of the conflict, meet with people involved in various peace-building initiatives and may even get to interview former combatants.
“We have also organised an exciting cultural programme for them, including a trip to the historic town of Cartagena and a game of Tejo with students from Los Andes University – it’s like ten pin bowling, but rather than hitting pins, the targets contain gunpowder!”
The students will keep a blog while there and use social media to highlight their experience.
Conflict and Terrorism is one of the University of Auckland’s fastest-growing masters. The Los Andes programme will be credited back to the students’ degrees.