The Australian Consortium for ‘In-Country’ Indonesian Studies (ACICIS – pronounced Ah-chee-chis, as an Indonesian would say it) was established in 1994, by Professor David Hill AM, to overcome the substantial academic, bureaucratic, and immigration impediments that had prevented Australian students from undertaking credited semester study at Indonesian universities.
Initially, ACICIS offered what is now known as the Flexible Language Immersion Program (FLIP) at Gadjah Mada University, and the East Java Field Study at Muhammadiyah University in Malang. Since then, ACICIS has partnered with 10 Indonesian Universities to offer 17 programs, differing in both length and discipline.
Notably, ACICIS has undergone significant growth and transformation from 2014-2021, achieved in no small measure thanks to the generous funding support from the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan.
Today, ACICIS Study Indonesia programs are the primary mechanism through which Australian students study for credit in Indonesian universities. There are more than 3000 alumni of ACICIS programs, many of whom now hold significant positions in government, academia and private enterprise. ACICIS alumni contribute to the Australia-Indonesia bilateral relationship in a myriad of ways, in a wide diversity of fields, well beyond their formative encounters with Indonesia as university students.
In 2015, ACICIS celebrated its 20th anniversary with three main events across Australia and Indonesia. Events were held in Melbourne, Canberra and Yogyakarta. In 2016, ACICIS concluded the celebrations with a final event at the new host university, the University of Western Australia.
In 2018, ACICIS founding director, Professor David Hill AM retired from his role as Consortium Director. Among Professor Hills many achievements during his twenty-four year service as the Consortium Direct, Professor Hill was awarded an ALTC National Teaching Fellowship to develop a national strategic plan for the rejuvenation of Indonesian language teaching at Australian universities in 2019. Professor Hill was also inducted as a Member of the Order of Australia in the 2015 Australia Day Honours.
Liam Prince was appointed ACICIS Consortium Director in July 2018. As Consortium Director, Liam provides executive leadership of ACICIS and is responsible for all aspects of the consortium’s operations— both in Australia and Indonesia.
ACICIS was specifically identified in the Australian Government’s Australia in the Asian Century White Paper (2012) as a ‘successful model for in-country learning’. So successful is the ACICIS model that the Asian Studies Association of Australia has proposed that similar consortia be established to provide in-country study for learners of Arabic, Hindi and Vietnamese. ACICIS internationalises the student’s educational experience by taking part in a challenging, academically tailored study abroad program offering high levels of pastoral care. Further to this, in 2016, the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training commissioned a feasibility study on establishing a consortium of universities – based on ACICIS’ model – to facilitate increased university student mobility to India. Read more about this here.
In 2008 the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) presented ACICIS with its prestigious national award for ‘Programs that Enhance Student Learning’.
In 2006, ACICIS Study Indonesia logo was redesigned. Read about the current logo here.