EVANSTON, Ill. --- The Rajawali Foundation has given Northwestern University a renewable $2 million gift to create a new Equality Development and Globalization Studies Program (EDGS), enhancing the University’s role in research on developing countries.
The new program will focus on multidisciplinary-comparative research and graduate training related to Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and other world regions facing developmental challenges.
EDGS, which will be housed within the Roberta Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies at Northwestern, will facilitate vital work on a broad range of themes confronting developing countries such as Indonesia.
“We greatly appreciate the Rajawali Foundation’s extension of its educational philanthropy to Northwestern,” said Hendrik Spruyt, executive director of the Buffett Center. “Development and globalization studies, in particular, will benefit immensely from the new program.”
The Rajawali Foundation, which focuses largely on social and humanitarian activities around the world, actively engages in the areas of education, research and community advancement. Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country and the largest economy in Southeast Asia, is an important strategic priority for the foundation.
“We are honored to support Northwestern’s efforts to bring together leaders in academia, across many fields and countries, to help solve crucial problems facing Indonesia and the world,” said Peter Chambers, president of the Rajawali Foundation.
The Rajawali Foundation’s gift to Northwestern also will support the Arryman Fellows and Arryman Scholars program, which is focused on training emerging Indonesian scholars in the social sciences. Arryman Fellows are awarded a one-year grant for pre-doctoral research at Northwestern in the fields of political science, history, law, business, journalism and communications, anthropology, sociology and development studies. Upon being admitted into Northwestern’s doctoral program, Arryman Fellows are eligible to become Arryman Scholars, thus receiving a grant that covers up to six years of doctoral study.
The first three Arryman Fellows -- Danang Kurniadi, Gde Metera and Hipolitus Ringgi -- arrived at Northwestern at the beginning of September and have begun their year as pre-doctoral research fellows at EDGS. After earning their doctoral degrees, the Arryman Scholars are expected to form the core faculty of a new school of public policy and social sciences being built in Jakarta, Indonesia, with the assistance of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a consortium of other major universities.
The Arryman program also provides opportunities for Northwestern’s involvement in helping shape this exciting new institution in Jakarta. The program serves as a model for building networks of scholars who can significantly affect the quality and reach of academic work in their own countries and globally.
The Equality Development and Globalization Studies Program also offers a platform for similar initiatives from other countries seeking to cultivate influential cohorts of world-class scholars.
“The EDGS gift will enhance Northwestern’s role in supporting research on democracy, governance, rule of law and development challenges across economies,” said EDGS director Jeffrey Winters, a professor of political science at Northwestern who has written extensively about Indonesia.
The creation of the EDGS program is an example of Northwestern's emphasis on international studies and its expanding reach in the world. The new program reflects the University's strategic goals of discovering creative solutions and engaging with the world.
“The EDGS program adds a major new component to the Buffett Center for International Studies, offering new opportunities for Northwestern’s international engagement,” said Jay Walsh, Northwestern’s vice president for research.
Overall, the new program’s support of research and training related to regions of the world facing developmental challenges will include the areas of political science, history, law, sociology, business, journalism and communications, and development studies.
EDGS will fund workshops, speaker series, research, book projects, working papers, scholars in residence, graduate research and undergraduate programs. Each year EDGS also will sponsor the Rajawali Distinguished Lecture.
“We are excited to partner with Northwestern, one of the world’s leading universities, in supporting such vital scholarship and educational initiatives,” Peter Chambers said.