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University of Reading Malaysia hosts symposium on resilience to climate change in South East Asia – University of Reading

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University of Reading Malaysia hosts symposium on resilience to climate change in South East Asia

Release Date 16 April 2013

The University of Reading Malaysia will this week (16-18 April 2013) host a symposium bringing together experts from the University of Reading and South East Asia to discuss the vital issue of climate change. This is the first symposium in a series which aims to create a vibrant network across South East Asia and so enhance the University's teaching and research activities as part of our development in the region.

The success of our growing network will be marked at the symposium when three new formal partnerships will be established with the University of Indonesia, the University of Danang (Vietnam) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños. We will be collaborating with these Universities to develop research and teaching in areas such as climate change, agriculture, food science, biodiversity, economics and systems engineering.

Professor Steven Mithen, University of Reading Pro-Vice-Chancellor for international and external engagement said: "We are delighted to be holding our first symposium in Malaysia and we see this as key to the University's development in the region. Climate change is a fitting topic and an area where the University excels. Our success is already in evidence through the establishment of formal partnerships with the Universities of Indonesia, Danang and the Philippines Los Baños. We know this is just the start of many rewarding and productive links."

Climate change, a particular strength of the University of Reading and a key challenge in South East Asia, is the issue under discussion at this first symposium which is being organised jointly with the University of Reading's Walker Institute for Climate System Research. Areas being discussed include: cities and health; water and ecosystems; agriculture and development.

Dr Maria Noguer, Walker Institute research co-ordinator said: "This event provides a wonderful opportunity to bring together Walker Institute experts in climate change with experts from across South East Asia who bring vital local knowledge. Working together we can make a real difference to addressing climate change in the region."

South East Asia is expected to be seriously affected by climate change. Extreme events such as floods, droughts and tropical cyclones are being experienced throughout the region with major impacts on people and the economy and such events are expected to get worse through the 21st century. To deal with the cross-boundary issues, regional cooperation and information sharing is required. The University of Reading wishes to bring its expertise to support research in these matters and gain from that existing within the region, through collaborative projects and teaching partnerships.

Dr Martha-Marie Kleinhans, Vice-Provost (Academic), University of Reading Malaysia said: "This series of symposia is an important step in the development of the University of Reading Malaysia and the collaborations we develop will lay strong foundations for our research and teaching activities. We're already teaching students here and we look forward to opening the doors of our new campus in Iskandar Malaysia to many more students in 2015."


For media enquiries please contact James Barr, University of Reading Press Officer on 0118 378 7115 or by email on

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Notes for editors:

1. For more information about the Symposium on Resilience to Climate Change in South East Asia 16-18 April 2013, Johor Bahru, Malaysia see

2. The University of Reading is ranked in the top 1% of the world's universities. Through its world-class research, giving international students the very best experience and strong teaching and business partnerships worldwide, Reading is now a major global force in higher education. The University of Reading's world renowned expertise in climate science is coordinated and framed through the Walker Institute for Climate System Research.

3. The University of Reading has attracted international students to its campus in the UK for over 100 years. The planned opening of our campus in Malaysia in 2015 is an important and very exciting step for the University. In anticipation of the new campus, the University of Reading Malaysia opened teaching facilities in Johor Bahru in May 2012, where it currently hosts a variety of Henley Business School and ICMA Executive Education courses, as well as English Language teaching and a Foundation in Business course.

4. The Walker Institute for Climate System Research carries out world-leading multidisciplinary climate research to understand and improve predictions of climate and its impacts. The Institute's areas of expertise include climate and weather processes and modelling, water resources and quality, biodiversity, agriculture, soils, livelihoods, socio-economics and the urban environment.

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