Partnership between Otago University and SPC sparks new opportunities for academics, research professionals, and experts


The University of Otago has formally partnered with the Pacific Community (SPC), the principal development organization in the Pacific which spans 26 countries and territories.

SPC has supported the empowerment of Pacific communities through the sharing and application of science, innovation, and knowledge since 1947.

This week the University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the organisation which will encourage the exchange of information, researchers, staff and students in order to promote friendship and collaboration between the two organisations.

The MoU was signed, virtually over Zoom, by the University of Otago’s Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Helen Nicholson and the Pacific Community’s Director-General Dr Stuart Minchin.

Professor Nicholson said the new partnership would  “generate opportunities for promising future academics, research professionals, and experts.”

“The University of Otago has a longstanding commitment to meeting the higher education needs of Pacific Peoples through the development of leadership, research capacity and promotion of growth and development skills. 

“This new connection will allow us to expand on this with opportunities for both our staff and students. It reflects the deep connection we have with our Pacific neighbours and builds on the work we are already doing in the Moana.”

“The University of Otago’s excellence in research and education together with its Pacific focus aligns with the purpose and needs of the Pacific Community”, said Stuart Minchin, Director-General of SPC.

“The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the organisations formalises the existing partnerships and creates new opportunities for the young and bright talent in the Pacific”, he added.

While the two organisations have a long history of cooperation in the health and science sectors, COVID-19 has enhanced the need for the formal implementation of this alliance in order to assist the Pacific region as they navigate this pandemic.

Plans for the future include extending the existing collaborative work between the two organisations to include capacity-building, postgraduate scholarship funding, and the exchange of resources.

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