ENVIRONMENTAL issues such as climate change and even the recent global pandemic have highlighted the need for global cooperation resolution.
As such, international relations has become a very relevant discipline.
Asia-Pacific University of Technology and Innovation (APU) International Relations Professor Dr Daniel Ruiz De Garibay Ponce stressed that solutions needed to transcend national borders and multilateral governance can enable several countries to solve environmental problems.
âEnvironmental problems do not stop at borders. Think for example of overfishing or cross-border pollution.
âInternational relations students learn how multilateral governance facilitates the creation of rules and the challenges of maintaining them,â he said.
Multilateral governance brings states and other stakeholders together to create policies at multiple levels.
These policies can be administrative and include economic strategies that can discourage economic activities harmful to the environment.
With global citizens witnessing climate change, made worse by the onset of a global crisis
pandemic damaging national economies and affecting lives, urgent action is highly needed
to tackle both climate change and the pandemic, to shape the 21st century economy in a clean, green, healthy, secure and more resilient way, in line with the United Nations call for Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG 13).
APU is one of the few universities in Malaysia to respond to such a call.
Environmental policy and sustainability is a key topic integrated into the formal curriculum of its BA (Hons) program in International Relations.
APU’s international relations students are exposed to a wide range of global environmental issues such as deforestation, pollution, resource depletion, among others, according to Ponce.
He added that students would learn from real-life case studies like developing sustainable solutions in oil palm plantations or developing nature-based solutions to tackle climate change.
“This global mindset, along with the technical skills to understand, analyze and design different policy options, prepare our students for the careers they choose, whether in government, international organizations, business. or civil society organizations, âhe said.
Annie Sabrina Alexandra Low, third year undergraduate student in international relations, said: âInternational relations is a large and diverse field of study. Through different types of assignments, presentations, tutorials, and research on regional and global challenges, I broadened my thinking.
âIt encouraged me to dig deeper to gain a better and broader perspective of the reality, causes and impact of different global problems. “
Regarding the practical skills she learned at the APU, Low said: âThrough one of the modules, Conflict Journalism, I learned a lot in terms of identifying the dissemination of fake news and the need to use different sources of information instead of relying on one particular information platform to avoid bias.
âAnd through crisis management, I learned a lot about how to react to different sources of conflict and the importance of having good public relations to mitigate and prevent chaos and prevent a huge crisis from happening. gets worse â.
In addition to the Environmental Policy and Sustainability module, other modules integrated into the three-year curriculum include Globalization 4.0, Revolution, Popular Uprising and Social Movement in World Politics, Global Comparative Politics, International Political Economy, international security, global diplomacy, transnational organized crime, conflict analysis and resolution, refugees and immigrants.
Jason Turner, Associate Director of the APU School of Business, emphasized: âTo properly prepare graduates of the future, we must not only engender a multi-faceted employability skill set, but also make students understand l importance of international awareness.
“What we try to instill in the overall mindset of our students are the ‘softer’ employability skills so that graduates are emotionally aware, can build lasting relationships and come up with imaginative solutions for address the complex challenges that affect Malaysia and the world. “
Career options would include being a diplomat, intelligence analyst, military officer, political analyst, lobbyist, international organization officer, political officer or journalist.
In addition to this, students of the BA (Hons) in International Relations could also opt for the APU-DMU dual degree program – two certificates and transcripts after graduation – from APU, Malaysia and the another from De Montfort University (DMU), United Kingdom.
Students would also have the opportunity to participate in the CMI L5 Prize in Management and Leadership, which will be moderated by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), UK.
According to the latest annual survey of graduates from the Ministry of Higher Education, 100% of APU graduates were employed after graduation.
For more information, visit https://www.apu.edu.my/our-courses/undergraduate-studies/media-international-relations-psychology/ba-hons-international