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University of Waikato strengthening Pacific bonds

2 August 2013

University of Waikato strengthening Pacific bonds

A high level delegation from the University of Waikato will touch down in Samoa next week to re-establish ties with university alumni, build relationships with government officials and take part in a public lecture on climate change at the National University of Samoa.

The delegation, led by Chancellor Jim Bolger and Vice-Chancellor Professor Roy Crawford, will spend four days in Samoa and will meet Head of State, His Royal Highness Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, and several other government ministers, community leaders and organisations and educational representatives.

University of Waikato geography lecturer, Associate Professor John Campbell, will also deliver a public lecture, Vulnerability and Resilience: Climate Change and Natural Disasters in Pacific Island Countries, at the National University of Samoa on 7 August at noon.

Professor Crawford says the trip is a good opportunity to reconnect with University of Waikato alumni, many of whom work at high levels within the Samoan Government, and to explore areas which could be beneficial to all parties.

“Areas such as tourism, health care, education and the public sector are priorities for Samoa and the University of Waikato offers excellent programmes in many of these areas,” he says.

High achieving Waikato alumni include Finance Minister Hon Niko Lee Hang, Attorney General Ming C Leung Wai, National University of Samoa Vice-Chancellor Professor Fui Tu’ua Īlaoa Asofou So’o and Samoa Law Reform Commission Executive Director Leilani Tuala Warren.

The delegation will also visit Falelatai Village, where Mr Bolger was given the chiefly title Nanai in 1997.

Professor Crawford says the University of Waikato has committed to enhancing the Pacific dimensions of the institution and helping improve the achievement levels of Pacific students and the visit will play a key role in those plans.

He says he particularly looked forward to strengthening the university’s relationship with His Royal Highness Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi - who delivered the keynote address at the Professor James Ritchie Memorial Symposium in 2011 - and visiting Samoa College, which is commemorating its 60th anniversary and has produced many Waikato alumni.

More than 200 Samoan students are enrolled at Waikato in 2013.

ENDS

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