UQ: Stone for Development Work Integrated Learning

Fiji | Summer semester 2021/2022

Program dates: 22 November 2021 - 17 February 2022

Please note: Projects will be conducted remotely in 2021-2022 due to Covid-19 travel restrictions

Development Minerals such as sand, gravel and crushed stone are locally sourced materials used in local development and are among the most commonly used commodities in the world. Sustainable and reliable sourcing of Development Minerals is of critical importance to resilient infrastructure development and climate change adaptation, and this is particularly true in Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Fiji. As demand for Development Minerals increases over time, there is a growing need for skilled and experienced technical professionals in the sector.

The Work Integrated Learning program in the Pacific

The Stone for Development Work Integrated Learning program will introduce participants to the challenges of sustainable development, through the lens of Development Minerals in the Pacific. The program involves 40-hours of training at UQ’s St. Lucia campus (with Pacific-based students attending online), followed by a two-week (80hr) field component, working with local partners to evaluate the ways in which Development Minerals contribute to local development, as well as to address challenges in their extraction. Please note these projects will be conducted remotely in 2021-2022 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Development Minerals are crucial inputs for infrastructure, housing, road building, manufacturing and agriculture; and support the livelihoods of millions of people working in domestic artisanal, small and medium sized businesses. They are especially important in the context of disaster reconstruction and climate change adaptation infrastructure such as sea walls.

Program requirements

The program is an initiative of the Development Minerals Program at The University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute, funded by UNESCO.

It is delivered in conjunction with the Science Industry Placement course (SCIE3050) at The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Science. Students must be eligible to enrol in SCIE3050 in Summer Semester 2021 to participate in the program. In addition to the 120 hours required for the Stone for Development program, students will complete 10+ hours of compulsory employability workshops as part of their assessment in the SCIE3050 course. Please refer to the SCIE3050 course profile for more details.


Stone for Development partners include the Fiji Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources; the Pacific Community (SPC); Fiji National University; University of the Philippines; Midlands State University, Zimbabwe; University of Mines and Technology, Ghana; University of the Philippines and University of Ngaoundere, Cameroon.

Students will also have an opportunity to engage with industry, various government agencies and Indigenous landowners in Fiji.

Participants from the Pacific will attend with the support of the UNESCO’s International Geoscience Programme and the OACPS-EU Development Minerals Program, an intiative of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States, financed by the European Union and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and implemented by UNDP.

Expected impact

Science Industry Placements enable students to acquire practical skills and experience in an authentic work environment. Through the completion of 120 hours of placement in a science-related workplace, students will gain an understanding of the real-world application of their learning. They will also learn about the nature of careers in science, identify possible career pathways, and reflect on their own professional skills and personal development.

This program will provide a rich learning experience for students that builds understanding of sustainable development challenges in a critically important sector of economies in the Pacific and other regions. The opportunity to interact with private, public, and non-profit organisations will provide future opportunities and nurture new multidisciplinary skills – including fieldwork skills - for students. The course also provides a rare opportunity for course participants to interact with students across the Pacific to enhance cross-cultural exchange and learning, as well as to strengthen collaboration between UQ and the region.

Further information and to apply

Submit an application to express your interest in joining the Stone for Development program. Enquiries: smi@uq.edu.au

In order to enrol in the UQ Stone for Development Work Integrated Learning you must also be enrolled in SCIE3050. Visit the SCIE3050 FAQ’s on StudentHub  for information about enrolment in SCIE3050 Science Industry Placement.

Applications for 2021 - 2022 have now closed

Please note: Projects will be conducted remotely in 2021-2022 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions