The Partnership in Islamic Education Scholarships (PIES) is a collaborative program supported by the Australia-Indonesia Institute, the Department of Political and Social Change at the Australian National University (ANU) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs in Indonesia.
The program enables lecturers in the State Islamic Higher Education Sector, who are currently completing their PhDs at Indonesian universities, to study at ANU in Canberra for one year. The primary aim of PIES is to enhance the academic, pedagogical and leadership skills of the participants and therefore strengthen the research and educational capacities of regional Islamic tertiary institutions in Indonesia, while providing students with experience of the diversity of social, cultural and religious life in Australia.
The 2011/12 PIES students were from regional Islamic colleges and universities in eastern Indonesia or East Java.
During their year at ANU, PIES students undertook academic skills and writing courses, regularly attended academic seminars and conferences across campus and joined in scholarly and religious activities run by the Canberra Indonesian student community. Other activities included a visit to the Lebanese Muslim Association in Sydney, a meeting with academic staff at the University of Western Sydney and attending the annual Centre for International Legal Studies conference at the Melbourne University Law School.
PIES students also regularly met with the AII to discuss their research and experiences of Australia, and contributed their views on problems facing Indonesia's Islamic community, particularly the Islamic education sector.
At the conclusion of the 2011/12 PIES Program, nearly all participants had completed their PhDs and described how the Program helped to develop their analytical, writing and presentation skills, in addition to improving their English. Participants also contributed to the book of writings titled Problematika Pemikiran Islam Kontemporer (Problematic Issues in Contemporary Indonesian Islam). The book was launched in Jakarta by Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia, HE Greg Moriarty.