Report by Pacific Media Centre
A delegation of four people from the University of Papua (UNIPA) in Manokwari, West Papua, visited Auckland University of Technology for the first ever such visit to New Zealand.
AUT University’s Centre for International Relations and Development hosted this delegation to discuss the possibility of students from West Papua attending AUT undergraduate programmes under the Affirmative Scholarship Programme.
The delegation was Sukristiningsih Sukarno (head of UNIPA’s international office), Linda Ernawati Lindongi (West Papua Affirmative Scholarship team member), Yohanes Sriyadi Budiyanto (UNIPA’s vice-rector for external affairs) and Theresia Tan (West Papua Affirmative Scholarship team member).
They were escorted by AUT’s international liason manager for CIRD, Cushla Managh, and Marcel Fletcher (international marketing manager for South-East Asia).
The UNIPA delegation met key AUT staff, including the head of Pacific Advancement Walter Fraser, and areas of compatibility were discussed for possible research collaboration.
After taking a university tour, the delegation was impressed with AUT city campus facilities, in particular, and the labs, computer access and study spaces for students.
One of the highlights of the tour was a visit of the Pacific Media Centre and being introduced to its flagship news and current affairs website Asia Pacific Report on a large plasma screen.
Ironically, the West Papua region was among the front page news headlines on the website at the time.
The UNIPA team only visited two New Zealand universities. They also visited Lincoln University to consider agricultural programmes.