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IIS Research Associate Dr. Gerard Prinsen gives talk in the Netherlands:
“Panic and policy. Island responses to pandemic threats and to global guidelines.”

On April 4, on his way home from a conference co-hosted by UPEI and the University of Aruba, IIS Research Associate Dr. Gerard Prinsen stopped in to his home country of the Netherlands to give a talk based on his research on island-specific responses to health crises. The talk was hosted by The Centre for Space, Place and Society (CSPS) at Wageningen University & Research.

In response to pandemics, World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines advise countries not to close their borders because it is ineffectual and disrupts economies. However, historical and epidemiological evidence suggests this may not apply to islands. A 2018 research by One Health Aotearoa New Zealand reviewed pandemic response policies of 44 Sub-National Island Jurisdictions (SNIJs) and 24 sovereign Small Island States (SISs), asking if islands are anchored to global WHO guidelines or charting their own course.This presentation outlined the arguments around border closure as an island-specific pandemic response policy, then shared the analysis of the data collected. This analysis not only explored the extent to which islands align with global WHO guidelines or begin disrupting these international guidelines by carving out island-specific responses, but it also differentiated between the responses of SISs and SNIJs.

Gerard Prinsen is a senior lecturer in Development Studies at Massey University New Zealand and a Research Associate at the Institute of Island Studies of the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. One of his areas of research zooms on the relationships between (former) colonial metropoles and the islands across the globe that remain connected to these metropoles as ‘sub-national island jurisdictions’. Matters of local identity evolution, global power projection, natural resource extraction, and public policy negotiation are central to his interest in an emerging ‘Islandian sovereignty’.

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UPEI signs MOU with University of the West Indies
In December, UPEI and the University of the West Indies signed their first ever Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), to pursue collaboration in teaching and research to inform social and economic development in developing countries.The collaboration is to be implemented through the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at The UWI and the Institute of Island Studies (IIS) at UPEI and may involve activities such as joint research, collaborative development of academic programmes, joint teaching and supervision of students, student and faculty exchange, joint publications, and staging of joint seminars and conferences.The UWI, which is rated in the top five percent of universities globally by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, was established in 1948 and currently serves 17 countries in the English-speaking Caribbean, all of them with the exception of one being island states. With eight faculties across its campuses in Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus with a presence in all 17 countries, The UWI’s vision is to be an excellent global university rooted in the Caribbean. SALISES is a research and graduate teaching entity located within The UWI’s School of Graduate Studies and Research. It aims to be an internationally renowned institution for graduate education and research-based solutions in development. Its mandate is to conduct training and research of a regional, multidisciplinary and policy-oriented nature to serve the needs of small developing countries like those in the Caribbean.Remarking on the collaboration, Professor Aldrie Henry-Lee, University Director of SALISES, said,“We at SALISES are pleased to collaborate with colleagues at the Institute of Island Studies. We share similar research and teaching interests. This collaboration will enhance our publication, research and teaching on sustainable development for small and vulnerable economies.”For his part, Professor James Randall, Chair of the Executive Committee under the direction of which IIS operates and co-chair of a UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, said, “The IIS and its affiliated academic programs at the University of Prince Edward Island have established research and post-graduate learning networks with island-based colleagues and institutions around the world. We are pleased to start developing productive research and exchange relationships with the world-class scholars and graduate students at SALISES and The UWI.”The MOU is for an initial period of three years.
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UPEI signs MOU with Japan’s University of the Ryukyus

On November 21, UPEI President Alaa Abd-El-Aziz and Island Studies professor and UNESCO Chair Jim Randall welcomed a delegation from the University of the Ryukyus, an island university based in Okinawa, Japan.

The purpose was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the two universities, to facilitate academic exchange of students and of faculty. Said University of the Ryukyus President Hajime Oshiro, “The University of Prince Edward Island and the University of the Ryukyus have been engaging in academic exchange led mainly by faculty members, specially, in the field of island studies. I myself specialize in island economics and was making research collaboration with the Institute of Island Studies of your university. The Research Institute for Islands and Sustainability of our university has also been collaborating with the Institute of Island Studies.”

Faculty from the two universities have visited back and forth since 2014, when Prof. Yoko Fujita, University of the Ryukyus Vice President and Director of their Research Institute for Islands and Sustainability, visited UPEI to attend the Excellence Network of Island Territories (RETI) annual conference.  In 2017, the University of the Ryukyus hosted RETI; both co-holders of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, Drs. Jim Randall and Godfrey Baldacchino, attended.

Faculty from the two universities have visited back and forth since 2014, when Prof. Yoko Fujita, University of the Ryukyus Vice President and Director of their Research Institute for Islands and Sustainability, visited UPEI to attend the Excellence Network of Island Territories (RETI) annual conference.  In 2017, the University of the Ryukyus hosted RETI; both co-holders of the UNESCO Chair in Island Studies and Sustainability, Drs. Jim Randall and Godfrey Baldacchino, attended.

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WELCOME TO THE INSTITUTE OF ISLAND STUDIES!

Our vision:

  • to be the leading centre of excellence on issues related to island studies scholarship, public policy, and engagement.

Our mandate:

  • To encourage a deep knowledge, understanding, and expression of Prince Edward Island;
  • To serve as a bridge between the University and Island communities;
  • To contribute to the formulation of public policy in Prince Edward Island;
  • To undertake and facilitate island studies research and education at local, national, and global scales.

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