The Vice-Chancellor of Solomon Islands National University (SINU), Professor Transform Aqorau, and his team successfully visited the University of Queensland (UQ) from the 25th to the 27th of October 2023.
According to SINU Vice-Chancellor Prof. Aqorau, the purpose of the visit was to strengthen ties between SINU and UQ and explore opportunities for academic and research collaborations.
Prof. Aqorau said the primary objective of the visit aligns closely with SINU’s strategic goal to become a leader in academic excellence, research, and community development.
“The primary objectives of the visit align closely with our institution's strategic goals to become a leader in academic excellence, research, and community development. These include dialogues on potential joint research initiatives, the development of academic programs to international standards, and the establishment of reciprocal staff exchange arrangements.”
On the first day, Thursday, 26th October, the team met various scholars at UQ who have been active in research endeavors within the Solomon Islands.
Prof. Aqorau highlighted the importance of the discussion, stating, “These discussions were invaluable for mutual learning and exploring areas where SINU's and UQ's research interests intersect.”
On the same day, Prof. Aqorau and his team also held a meeting with the UQ Vice-Chancellor in what he described as a high-level engagement. In the engagement with the UQ Vice-Chancellor, they discussed a range of topics, including opportunities for collaborative programs, particularly in the health sector.
The team also visited and held discussions with UQ's Law Faculty and Engineering Department. Prof. Aqorau said, “Given the significance of land issues, a discussion with the Law Faculty at UQ was timely. This also presents a future area for academic and research collaborations. We toured the Engineering Department to explore their current research initiatives, particularly those related to coastal areas.”
On the final day of the visit, Friday, 27th October, the SINU team held a fruitful discussion with UQ's Health Faculty.
According to Prof. Aqorau, “Meetings with the Faculty of Health led to broad discussions on current research on malaria and dengue, and possibilities for joint research in public health, subject to liaising with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services.”
Key outcomes and future directions reached include joint research initiatives, academic programs, and an upcoming UQ visit.
“Joint Research Initiatives: There was mutual agreement on the importance of collaborative research. These initiatives will be instrumental in enhancing SINU's reputation in the international academic community.”
“Academic Programs: We also discussed aligning SINU’s academic programs to meet both SITESA and Australian standards, a strategic move in elevating the institution's international repute.”
“Upcoming UQ Visit: We look forward to hosting a delegation from UQ in February, which will help solidify the initiatives discussed and pave the way for future collaborations.”
With that, Prof. Aqorau said, “The UQ-SINU partnership presents a unique opportunity to elevate our institution's standing both nationally and internationally. With these advancements, we come closer to realizing SINU's vision of being a crucial player in the educational, social, and economic development of the Solomon Islands.”
The team was led by Prof. Aqorau along with Dr. Hugo Bugoro, Dr. John Fasi, Kezyiah Saepio, and Wanderlyn Vahimana.
Source: Press Release, SINU