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Discover international development
My name is Nicole. I am the Coordinator of the International Development Minor at VU.
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Dr Nicole Oke
Lecturer, International Development Minor.
I teach a range of units about international development as well as about migration, about sociology of migration, and in particular my work focuses on migration as well as on international social policy - so a bit of a range.
The course is really structured around a couple of main issues. It's about global issues as a whole but we're mainly focused on questions about why is there such extreme poverty in the world still and why are there such extreme disparities between, sort of power, between resources in the world today, so some really central questions which are relevant to a whole lot of different issues.
So students will get quite a bit out of course. On the one hand you'll learn about some of the big picture issues in the world today and why they're significant to us as well as other people around the world, so those questions about inequalities in particular. Another thing that students will get out of the course is about cultural competencies in terms of understanding what's significant to other people in the world. And in this it's not just sort of about textbook learning - we're also gaining a lot of experience from the diversity of students in the class and the different experiences that people are bringing to this course.
This minor will develop students' skills particular skills in being able to think critically about these issues which are key today and which cross over so many other parts of our lives, whether that's in our working lives, or in the way that we analyse social issues today.
Apart from that students will gain critical thinking skills, writing skills, and so on. And many students are going on exchanges as part of this and the course has always had strong connections to East Timor. Many students have been able to go and study in Timor or work organising conferences in East Timor for example.
The most valuable thing that students get out of taking this course is being able to engage more critically with some of these big picture changes and in a world that's becoming increasingly global in terms of the issues we face, in terms of the social interactions that we participate, it's really important that we can understand that, regardless of whether this is for our work lives or whether this is because of our role as citizens.