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Chilean President to visit Victoria University

Chilean President to visit Victoria University

The President of Chile, His Excellency Ricardo Lagos, is to visit Victoria University tomorrow (May 4) to give an address on the relationship between New Zealand and Chile and to witness the signing of two agreements.

President Lagos, accompanied by his wife, Luisa Durán de Lagos, will address an invited gathering in the University’s Hunter Council Chamber on Chile and New Zealand: A Partnership of Knowledge and Innovation at 10am.

Elected in the year 2000, President Lagos was a distinguished academic before entering politics. A leading dissident figure in Chile in the 1980s, he was jailed by the Government in 1987 but served as Minister of Education and of Public Works after democracy was restored in 1990.

Also attending the lecture will be: His Excellency Carlos Appelgren, Chilean Ambassador to New Zealand; the Hon Pete Hodgson, Minister of Research, Science and Technology; the Hon Steve Maharey, Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education); Dr Eric Goles, President of the Chilean National Commission of Science & Technology; Dr Alex Malahoff, Chief Executive of the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences; and from Victoria University, Rosemary Barrington, Chancellor; and Professor Stuart McCutcheon, Vice-Chancellor.

After the address, Dr Goles and Professor McCutcheon will sign an agreement of co-operation between the two organisations to provide PhD scholarships allowing Chilean students to study at Victoria University. Dr Goles will also sign an agreement with Dr Malahoff to forge greater links between the two organisations. Professor McCutcheon said the University was honoured that President Lagos had agreed to give the address.

"President Lagos has made a significant contribution in Chile, both in academia and in politics. As the Capital City University, Victoria has a strong relationship with the diplomatic corps. Ambassador Appelgren has been a welcome visitor to our campus, supporting a series of talks given by members of the diplomatic corps and the work of the Spanish programme in our School of Asian & European Languages and Cultures.

"The agreement is one of a number we have with universities and organisations around the world and reflects the standing of Victoria University of Wellington as an internationally distinguished research institution ranked amongst this nation’s finest."

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