USP Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra with the Victoria University of Wellington Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Guilford during their meeting in Wellington.
Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rajesh Chandra of The University of the South Pacific (USP) paid a courtesy visit to Professor Grant Guilford, Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington on28 April 2016.
Professor Chandra said discussions with Professor Guilford were very productive towards enhancing the relationship further through specific joint collaborations.
“There is an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between USP and VUW. However, this is mainly confined to student exchange, which is limited given the prospective opportunities for engagement,” Professor Chandra said.
He added that there are a lot more promising opportunities for collaboration between the two institutions in light of the cross cutting interests in the area of research that could benefit the Pacific region.
The research objectives guiding the key priority areas of VUW and USP were also discussed and commonalities were identified for the two institutions to possibly deliberate on further.
Professor Guilford said pursuing cross-cutting interest in the respective research areas can significantly leverage the levels of collaboration between the two institutions and result in specific research and development initiatives for the Pacific.
He further added that such specific collaborations can possibly be resourced through the Partnerships Development Fund, which is a facility made available by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand to strengthen linkages with New Zealand based Non-State Actors.
Other key potential areas of engagement with VUW, Professor Chandra said, include PhD research supervision; full-fee student mobility programmes; undertaking policy level decisions, introducing and testing new ICT-enabled flexible learning pedagogies; strengthening business processes at USP through technical advice and expertise from VUW; and exchange of expertise and practices in terms of strategic planning, managing, monitoring and analysis.
Based on these, the existing MOU between USP and VUW will be revised to reflect broader and more strategic collaboration.
“We expect the revised MOU to lead not only to institutional level enhancements but also jointly leveraging additional resources that can support our research and development initiatives in the region,” Professor Chandra said.
Further to this, Professor Chandra also met with Professor Roy Sharp in Wellington, whowas the NZ Government nominee on the University Grants Committee for many years, and who conducted the review of USP’s funding formula last year.
Professor Sharp is also the former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury, and the former CEO of the Tertiary Education Commission of New Zealand.
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