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When sending a text can make a difference

Sitting idle on the shelves of every academic office are a growing number of unused textbooks gathering dust.

But with the support of a former student, Victoria University is taking part in a novel way of sharing the knowledge.

Staff and students have collected more than 500 textbooks which will soon be packed into boxes and sent to some of Papua New Guinea's poorest universities.

The initiative is part of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Tourism Textbook Donation program, which is supporting undergraduate and graduate tourism and hospitality students in the Asia Pacific Region.

Mark Jakson, a former VU tourism student and current UNWTO employee in Madrid, said VU was one of only four universities around the world taking part in the project.

"The three other universities gathered a total of 500 textbooks during the first donation in October, but VU has reached that number on its own, which is a fantastic result and shows the great generosity of the place,'' Mr Jakson said.

"The project was started last year because many of these universities in poorer nations have little money and this is a great way to share the knowledge. PNG's tourism industry is still developing so this is an easy and effective way of supporting their students.

"We're also planning to send a lot more than just textbooks in the future. We're thinking about donating computers and even sending lecturers for short periods. The capacity is endless.''

Lecturer in Tourism Dr Martin Fluker said he was happy to get involved with the project when contacted by Mr Jakson and was thrilled with the response.

"Over the years as an academic you just collect so many textbooks and this is a great way to clean them out, get rid of the old ones and make way for new ones,'' Dr Fluker said.

"We've had so many people get in contact and ask us to come and get their excess titles. This project should open more opportunities for VU and its association with the Asia Pacific down the track.''

Sitting idle on the shelves of every academic office are a growing number of unused textbooks gathering dust.

But with the support of a former student, Victoria University is taking part in a novel way of sharing the knowledge.

Staff and students have collected more than 500 textbooks which will soon be packed into boxes and sent to some of Papua New Guinea's poorest universities.

The initiative is part of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Tourism Textbook Donation program, which is supporting undergraduate and graduate tourism and hospitality students in the Asia Pacific Region.

Mark Jakson, a former VU tourism student and current UNWTO employee in Madrid, said VU was one of only four universities around the world taking part in the project.

"The three other universities gathered a total of 500 textbooks during the first donation in October, but VU has reached that number on its own, which is a fantastic result and shows the great generosity of the place,'' Mr Jakson said.

"The project was started last year because many of these universities in poorer nations have little money and this is a great way to share the knowledge. PNG's tourism industry is still developing so this is an easy and effective way of supporting their students.

"We're also planning to send a lot more than just textbooks in the future. We're thinking about donating computers and even sending lecturers for short periods. The capacity is endless.''

Lecturer in Tourism Dr Martin Fluker said he was happy to get involved with the project when contacted by Mr Jakson and was thrilled with the response.

"Over the years as an academic you just collect so many textbooks and this is a great way to clean them out, get rid of the old ones and make way for new ones,'' Dr Fluker said.

"We've had so many people get in contact and ask us to come and get their excess titles. This project should open more opportunities for VU and its association with the Asia Pacific down the track.'' 

Tourism student Mark Jakson

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