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VU to aid Indonesia's 'green province'

Victoria University (VU) is strengthening its engagement with Australia’s nearest neighbour, under a first-ever agreement with the Provincial Government of East Kalimantan that will pave the way for learning, teaching and research collaborations.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – which will see VU help develop the human capital of the East Kalimantan – has just been signed during a two-day visit to VU this week by a delegation of senior officials from the Indonesian province.

Delegates include the Governor of East Kalimantan, Dr Awang Faroek Ishak, who has now been appointed a Visiting Adjunct Professor to the College of Business during his visit to VU, and Chairman of the Parliament East Kalimantan Province, Mr Muhammad Syahrun.

Under the agreement, VU will provide opportunities for collaboration with East Kalimantan’s government, universities and businesses, including:

  • East Kalimantan-funded scholarships for citizens and government officials to study a range of VU courses, including English language, diploma, bachelor and PhD programs in key areas for the province
  • East Kalimantan-funded scholarships for academics to undertake PhDs at VU;
  • VU-delivered executive leadership programs for industry;
  • Joint research collaborations with universities and the Government of East Kalimantan; and,
  • VU-led consultancy work in the province’s economic development. 

In welcoming the delegation, VU Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Peter Dawkins, said the signing of the MOU is "just the beginning" of a long partnership with East Kalimantan.

"VU commends the East Kalimantan Government’s vision of developing the province as a ‘green’ and entrepreneurial province because we share the same values," Professor Dawkins said.

"VU operates on a campus environment that enables an engaging, relevant and dynamic offer to our students, which incorporates the best of physical and virtual learning spaces," he said.

"We also undertake high quality and innovative applied and translational research which results in healthier, smarter and sustainable communities.

"As such, our expertise in business, engineering and science can assist you to achieve your goals.

"I look forward to our work together into the future, and learning from each other and about each other to accomplish our strategic visions."

VU Acting Vice-President International, Carolyn Chong, said VU’s international strategy for 2016 and beyond aims to increase the University’s engagement with Asia, including Indonesia, therefore the MOU "will pave the way for future collaboration with universities and industry".

Following their arrival at VU and the MOU signing on 20 September, the delegation took a tour of VU’s City Flinders Campus and attended an official dinner hosted by the Governor of East Kalimantan at the Novotel Hotel.

On Wednesday (21 September), the delegation saw a number of presentations from key areas across VU, including the College of Business, the Centre of Policy Studies, the College of Engineering and Science and VU’s research portfolio, followed by an official dinner hosted by Professor Dawkins.

Key members of the delegation include ministers and heads of various East Kalimantan Government departments, such as education, regional planning and collaboration, research and regional development, mining and energy, forestry and housing.

Vice-Chancellors of the University of Nahdlatul Ulama, Professor Farid Wadjdy Djafar Sabran, and the University of 17 August 1945, Professor Eddy Soegiarto Cipto Miharjo, were also in attendance, along with the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the State University of Mulawarman, and Professor, Bohari Yusuf Daeng Lalang.

VU has a long history of engagement with Indonesia, with several MOUs and double degrees formed with Indonesian universities, a number of student exchange programs and professional development programs for Indonesian teachers.

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