USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra during a courtesy call with the Australian National University Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian P. Schmidt.
The Australian National University has expressed a keen interest in upskilling staff of The University of the South Pacific (USP) to undertake research effectively on issues facing the region through increased research grants.
This was relayed to USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra during a courtesy call to ANU’s Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Brian P. Schmidt in Canberra on 7 March 2016.
The visit was aimed at discussing the USP-ANU partnership with the newly appointed ANU Vice-Chancellor and explore ways it can best be leveraged to effectively meet the growing research and development needs of the people and governments of the Pacific region.
Professor Brian Schmidt welcomed the USP Vice-Chancellor and his team to ANU saying that the existing relationship between the two universities can be further strengthened to benefit the development of the Pacific region.
He said that ANU has novel approaches towards training of supervisors for Doctoral programmes, which can be accessed by USP to enhance capabilities of research supervisors.
Professor Rajesh Chandra congratulated Professor Schmidt on his appointment at Australia's top University and mentioned that ANU has been working closely with USP and has shown commitment towards the interest of the Pacific people.
He highlighted that USP's Seven Strategic Themes (SRTs) and commonalities were found in areas of mutual interest for further research collaboration between the two institutions.
Professor Schmidt stated that ANU is willing to consider grants to support USP’s Seven Strategic Themes to undertake research and sustainable solutions pertaining to issues facing the region.
The courtesy visit resulted in the identification of key areas of common interest which both universities could potentially collaborate in the immediate future.
These areas include, but are not confined to the organisation of the 2016 Pacific Economic Updates; teaching of diplomacy course; training of supervisors for Doctoral programmes; strengthening of the Economic Policy and Modeling Centre at USP; joint efforts to improve learning and teaching pedagogies; and sharing of resources and information that better informs policies and development initiative in the Pacific.
On the strengthening of the Economic Policy and Modeling Centre, Professor Chandra stated that this links well with the Framework for Pacific Regionalism, which calls for capacity building of the Pacific Island Countries to have better informed economic policies and ensuring its efficacy.
Professor Rajesh Chandra said that "the progressive partnership between USP and ANU is significant in enabling greater impact of research and development efforts in the region”.
He added that a closer collaboration and joint efforts would yield greater economic benefits for the Pacific Island Countries.
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