The University of the South Pacific (USP) received a courtesy visit by H.E. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Serbia to the Commonwealth of Australia Mr Rade Stefanovic.
Receiving him on behalf of the USP were Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Regional Campuses and Global Engagement) Dr Giulio Masasso Tu’ikolongahau Pāunga and the Head of School for Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics (STEMP), Professor Maurizio Cirrincione.
His Excellency Ambassador Stefanovic acknowledged the opportunity to visit USP after hearing a lot about the university and recognising the possibilities for cooperation with Serbia.
He said Serbia has had diplomatic relations with Fiji, Australia and New Zealand for decades and connections with other Pacific Island countries.
As the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on a lot of developments in various sectors in the last two years, Ambassador Stefanovic was confident that his visit would continue their collaboration, especially in the field of education and climate change.
Dr Paunga also shared similar sentiments about growing the collaboration with Serbia in the fields of education and climate change through possible student exchange programmes and scholarships that would enable Serbian students to study in any of USP’s 12 member countries.
He also highlighted that USP had MOUs with 200 universities and right now has up to 200 international students from 29 counties from various parts of the world including Europe, Africa, the Caribbeans, the United States of America, and Asia and is keen to grow this to include Serbia.
Professor Maurizio Cirrincione also touched on the possibility of exploring the opportunity of 18-month programmes allowing students to travel across to Serbia and vice versa to expand collaboration and partnership in the areas of common interest such as climate change, and computer science, artificial intelligence, renewable energy sources, and many more.