Flinders strengthens international ties

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(L-R): Flinders University Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber shaking hands with University of Malaya Vice-Chancellor Professor Dato’ Dr Mohd Amin Jalaludin.

Flinders has strengthened its relationship with key institutions in Malaysia and Vietnam through the singing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) that allow for research collaborations, staff and student exchanges, and short courses.

The agreements were signed during a visit to the two countries led by Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber and Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) Professor Nancy Cromar.

Professor Barber said the agreements signed with two of Malaysia’s leading universities, the University of Malaya and University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), build on Australia’s established relationship with Malaysia’s higher education sector, Professor Barber said.

“The Malaysian MoUs bring a new focus, placing an emphasis on collaborative, research-led engagement that involves two of Flinders’ cutting edge disciplines – nanotechnology and biomedical engineering – in particular,” Professor Barber said.

In recent years, Flinders has developed a strong collaboration in the area of nanotechnology with UKM, and the new arrangements allow for a cotutelle (joint PhD) program as well as support for Flinders students travelling to Malaysia on AsiaBound scholarships.

UKM has also expressed an interest in engaging with environment and health-related programs at Flinders.

Opportunities for collaboration with the University of Malaysia are concentrated in biomedical engineering and nanotechnology, with biosensing and nanomaterials identified as areas of immediate mutual interest. Teams of nanotechnology researchers from Flinders and UM will exchange visits in coming months, Professor Barber said.

Professor Barber said the signing of an MoU with Vietnam’s National Centre for Water Resources Investigation and Planning will begin to forge education links based around Flinders’ strong record in water and the environment.

Areas of joint interest include training and research in groundwater and hydrogeology, and also water quality.

Professor Cromar will follow up the formal signing in Vietnam with a dedicated mission to work up specific activities, which are likely to included staff and student exchanges, internships for our students, joint research and short courses.

The Flinders delegation also visited Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology and met with Minister Nguyen Quan to discuss other teaching and research strengths at Flinders that could potentially contribute to Vietnam’s national capacity-building priorities.

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