Twenty years after the first MOU signed between the University of the South Pacific and the University of New Caledonia, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Vice-Chancellor and President of USP, and Professor Catherine Ris, President of UNC, signed a new MOU, on Thursday January 27th, 2023, in Nouméa, New Caledonia.
Presidents Ris and Ahluwalia committed to enhancing quality education and research through this MOU. In particular, the two universities’ senior management teams met to concretise initiatives that build on many years of cooperation. UNC and USP will announce a new call for research collaboration aimed at strengthening post-graduate education. Both institutions signed a specific agreement on the development of their joint regional master’s degree on sustainability sciences, that will lead to a two years program and a joint qualification. Key areas of cooperation have been identified, including the strategic development of joint research activities, academic publications and PHD thesis supervision.
UNC and USP reiterated their support for the Pacific Islands Universities Research Network (PIURN). PIURN is jointly chaired by the two universities since its inception in 2013. This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the network and Presidents Ahluwalia and Ris will celebrate this occasion during the 5th PIURN Conference to be held at the USP Cook Islands Campus, 4-6 July 2023.
This signing of the MOU was the culmination of a three days-visit to the University of New Caledonia from a high-level delegation comprised of Vice-Chancellor Professor Pal Ahluwalia, Deputy-Vice-Chancellor Education Professor Jito Vanualailai, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Regional Campuses and Global Engagement Dr Giulio Paunga, Director of PacE-SD Professor Elisabeth Holland and PIURN Coordinator Ms Mathilde Souchon.
In addition, strategic discussions with key research institutes from New Caledonia (CRESICA Consortium), visit of the facilities and research equipment, and a public lecture by Professor Ahluwalia were on the agenda of the visit.