Just in time for the Christmas holiday break! A new edition of the World Customs Journal is now available and, per usual, offers a number of excellent papers on current issues and demands facing Customs and Border Control agencies. Professor David Widdowson, editor-in-chief, and head of the Centre for Customs & Excise Studies (CCES) at the University of Canberra, Australia makes some poignant remarks about customs education, research and the application thereof in the modern world –
“one very clear message for me is the need to ensure that our research remains demand-driven rather than supply-driven, otherwise it won’t be valued or, worse still, it won’t even be read by those who could potentially benefit from it. In this regard, there is a need to monitor the effectiveness of what we do – to what extent is the theory being translated into practice? To what extent are academic efforts and activities found to be useful by the WCO and its member administrations? To what extent are research findings being applied in a practical sense? This is, in itself, a fertile area for future research.”
These are very pertinent views given the volume of students undertaking these courses, who in many cases work in customs environments (at home) which are seemingly both oblivious and ignorant to the importance of academic knowledge and human intellect. With so much importance and bias on the ICT nowadays, the technical skills and attributes of what makes a good customs and border control official are relegated to secondary importance. Please read the articles.