VU offers elective field-based ICT4D course for master students CS, IS and AI


In June 2018 a new elective VU master course “ICT for Development in the Field” will be given for the first time on location, in Sarawak, Malaysia, jointly with the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS). The 6 ECTS course is open for master students of Information Sciences, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.

ICT4D is the study that addresses the challenges and opportunities of ICTs in the context of international development. Currently, about 47 % of the world’s population is not connected to the Web. The majority of these “unconnected people in the world” live in poor, remote, often rural, regions of the world. The ICT4D in the Field course gives students the opportunity to carry out and learn from a field-based ICT project in and with a local rural community. The course will be supervised jointly by academic staff from the VU Computer Science Department and academic staff from the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology of UNIMAS. Students will be accommodated at the university campus in Kuching, Sarawak for a period of 4-5 weeks in June 2018. This course involves 2-3 weeks of field work in a (“kampung”) community in Sarawak, Malaysia, a week of introductory lectures and assignments, and a final plenary conference for the presentation and discussion of the project results.

The first, pilot edition of this course in June 2018 will be partially sponsored by the VU, in the context of the VU program for societally important research and education (“Community Service Learning”, networked “Structured Mobility”, and “Bruto Academische Waarde”). For participating students, we intend to keep costs down for the complete travel to and stay in Sarawak through a grant from VU, but a reasonable contribution to cover local subsistence costs is to be expected. This means we are only able to accomodate a small group in this course (roughly 5-10 students).

Further information about this course is found in the VU Study Guide or in this folder. We especially invite students enrolled in the VU course ICT for Development to consider participating. Students interested in participating in this course in Malaysia are asked to contact Anna Bon or Jaap Gordijn, and provide a short motivation letter, before 2 March 2018.