Monday, 14 February 2011

Seven leading research universities from around the world have met at The University of Western Australia to collaborate on research and teaching that will benefit the community.

The Board of the Matariki Network of Universities * met at UWA from 9-10 February, its second meeting since it was established mid-2010.

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson said the Matariki Network was focussed on harnessing the universities' combined expertise to tackle global issues.

"Our discussions over the two days will enable us to bring together our research strengths to develop solutions to common and persistent problems, and to share and build on our teaching strengths to enable us to produce graduates who will make a difference in communities around the world," Professor Robson said.

Universities in the Matariki Network are high-quality research-intensive universities, which pride themselves on the quality of the university experience for their students and are recognised for their international practice in teaching and learning.

Among some of the oldest institutions in their respective countries, the universities include Dartmouth College, Durham University, Eberhard Karls University of Tubingen, Queen's University, University of Otago, The University of Western Australia; and Uppsala University. They are universities which encourage their students to live on and around campus to enrich their experience of student life and learning.

"From a West Australian perspective, our University is very proud of its reputation for excellence and its record in providing an outstanding student experience.  This international collaboration will enable us to extend our teaching and research networks and enrich the education of our students even further," Professor Robson said.

The university executives discussed a future program of activities including exchange programs for academics, students and administrative staff, research networks, visiting fellowships, joint postgraduate programs and collaboration on major international projects, as well as social responsibility projects, cultural and sporting activities.

*‘Matariki' is the Maori name for the group of stars called the Pleiades, which are also known as the Seven Sisters.  ‘Matariki' is also the word for the Maori New Year, symbolising a new beginning.

Photographs available.

Photo (left to right): David Skegg, Berndt Engler, Carol Holt, Anders Hallberg, Chris Higgins, Alan Robson, Daniel Woolf.

Media references

Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs)  (+61 8)  6488 5563  /  (+61 4) 32 637 716


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