Professor Paul Statham, SCMR Director, has just returned from his third visit to Mahidol University, Bangkok. The visit aimed at setting up a programme of activities within the Sussex-Mahidol Migration Partnership (SMMP) over the next months. Together with Professor Sureeporn Punpuing, Professor Aphichat Chamratrithirong, Dr Aree Prohmmo, Dr Marc Voelker, Dr Dusita Phuengsamran and Dr Charamporn Holumyong from the Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR), Paul discussed the development of research projects, research exchanges, opportunities to develop postdoctoral teaching collaborations, and future activities. Aphichat, Director of the Mahidol Migration Center (MMC), asked Paul to become a member of the MMC’s advisory board.
The members of the SMMP present at the meeting discussed the opportunity to submit a Newton Advanced Fellowship in September 2015, which would fund a post-doctoral researcher based at Mahidol University and a collaborative Sussex-Mahidol team. The aim is to fund an empirical research project on ‘Partnerships between Thais and Westerners and their Impacts on Life Chances, Wellbeing and Development’ that would involve a research visit by Dusita to Sussex University for a period of time. This proposal will be followed by the submission of a related project on ‘British and Swedish Retirement Migration to Thailand’ to the Leverhulme/BA call for small grants by Dr Sarah Scuzzarello in October this year.
Discussions also covered the possibility for developing a double Masters degree in Migration between Sussex and Mahidol. The double MA would enable students to spend one year at each university and therefore gain insights into migration and diversity dynamics in two different diverse academic contexts. This prepared the ground for the subsequent visit by to the IPSR by Prof Cherith Moses in her capacity as Director for International Recruitment and Development at Sussex.
Members of the SMMP set up a programme of activities for Winter and Spring 2016. Paul and Sarah (SCMR) will visit Mahidol University in January 2016 to conduct pilot research and develop further research bids. They will be joined by Sussex Professors Ron Skeldon and Charles Watters (Director of the Centre for Innovation and Research in Wellbeing), who will give lectures at Mahidol in a launch event for the SMMP in Bangkok. In March 2016, a delegation of scholars from IPSR and MMC will visit Sussex to attend the annual SCMR/JEMS Conference, advance research proposals, and attend a workshop that aims to extend research links to our University partners in Berlin and Singapore. Professor Brenda Yeoh (National University of Singapore) and Professor Magdalena Nowicka (Humboldt University, Berlin) will represent their Universities at this workshop.
While in Bangkok, Paul also took the opportunity to meet with Jerrold W. Huguet, a leading migration expert on Thailand, who previously worked with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok for 27 years, in the area of population and social policy. Mr Huguet offered feedback and advice on project ideas and will continue to support the activities of the Partnership.
Anyone wishing to join or be kept informed of the Sussex Mahidol Migration Partnership should contact Sarah (firstname.lastname@example.org).