Romanian delegation visits USP seeking collaboration
29 May, 2018, 1:00 am
A ROMANIAN delegation visited The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Laucala Campus seeking collaboration in the area of academic cooperation.
The delegation, led by Special Envoy of the UN Security Council Candidature Daniela Gitman, met Professor Derrick Armstrong, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and International to discuss areas of cooperation.
But while the delegation was in Fiji to primarily promote the Romanian candidature to a non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council for the term 2020–2021, Ms Gitman said this was the first time for a Romanian delegation to visit Fiji and the Pacific region.
“Of course our visit was triggered by one of our most important priorities that we have now on the radar – our campaign for winning the UN Security Council non-member seat, but also because we want to prepare for our EU Presidency over January next year, and we wish to learn about the priorities, challenges, threats of the Pacific as well as the commonalities between us so that we can be very effective,” Ms Gitman said.
She said the tour was also dedicated to education as the delegation tried to reach out to regional and national universities.
“We are here to reach out not only to political leaders but to regional organisations and universities,” Ms Gitman was quoted as saying in a statement.
“For now, at least what we want to do is establish a first point of contact for the universities so that we can develop our cooperation.
“We also want to put into perspective the Romania academic desire to become more multicultural as we seek to work with exchange students and professors in order for both regions to learn more about each other.”
Professor Armstrong highlighted that the main challenges for the region were climate change, ICT, health, human resources and capacity-building.
“We have a total of 14 campuses right across the Pacific, the main one being located here in Laucala and we offer programs in a full range of disciplines at our campuses,” he stated.
“We have a very strong mission in supporting the region and our member country governments in terms of policy development, research and human resources capacity-building through our programs.”
Professor Armstrong stated that USP received funds from its 12-member countries and also development assistance, particularly from Australia and New Zealand.
“We also have many different projects and the European Union (EU) is a key funder of development projects in the field of climate change.
“This enables us to do a lot of work across the region in terms of community-based development and research work,” he said.