A delegation of management and academic leadership from Mekelle University (MU) has visited world class universities in Australia from Nov. 21 -26, 2016 with the aim of creating a new chapter of international partnerships amongst Ethiopian and Australian institutions in general, and targeting a more stronger internationalization at MU in particular.
The visit took place in various universities and research centers based in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney. Productive meetings were held with Vice Chancellors, International Officers and Officers of relevant disciplines.
In addition to the Academic and Research related correspondence, the delegation managed to discuss policy, strategy matters and ways forward with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The delegation has undertook successful and promising collaboration discussions at Victoria University, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, The University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, University of Canberra, The Ethiopian Embassy in Australia and Macquarie University.
The University of Melbourne
During this mission, joint research, staff and student exchange, joint program development and capacity building were major points of discussion as potential areas of collaboration. In addition to that, tour to campuses and facilities in all institutions was part and parcel of the visit.
Victoria University Campus Visit
State of the Art Lab at La Trobe University
The following major remarks were made during the discussions.
- There are potential funding schemes to assist capacity building at MU through programs such as, Australian Awards Scholarships (AAS), International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPGS), and the Victoria University International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (VUIPRS) and many other windows.
- There is great potential to collaborate on medical education capacity building, integrating continuing medical education approach for district hospitals, fellowships and short term trainings.
- Potential areas of collaboration to develop joint PhD programs in health, agricultural, veterinary, and food sciences.
- Promising engagements in monitoring and assessment of fresh water systems, water security for human and ecosystem needs, and water futures - focusing on developing knowledge for sustainable development and management of water resources.
- Engaging MU in Australian –African university alliance (AAUA) as a way forward for a sustainable partnership.
- Targeting to network with universities of specified areas of excellence for tailored partnership.
La Trobe University
University of Canberra
During the visits, the MU delegation was received by Vice President of International Steve Berridge and his team at Victoria University, Dr. Fionna Russel and her team at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Vice Chancellor of International Prof. Elizabeth Hartland and respected officers at The University of Melbourne, Director of International Partnerships and Services Wendy Martenec and her team at La Trobe University, Vice Chancellor Prof. Deep Saini and his team at the University of Canberra, Her Excellency Ambassador Tirfu and Diplomats at the Ethiopian Embassy in Canberra and Office Head Mathew Neuhaus and his team at the of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Similarly, at Macquarie University, the delegation was welcomed by Ms. Kate Roth, Associate Director of Academic Programs and had had the opportunity of meeting Prof. Jeffrey Braithwaite, foundation director of the AIHI and Director of AIHI's Centre for Healthcare Resilience and Implementation Science and discussed possibility of collaborating on joint research and publication.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
It is to be recalled that as part of building the partnerships among MU and institutes in Australia and the Government of Australia, members of the Victorian state parliament visited Mekelle University in July, 2016 having multiple discussion with all MU management and leadership in a mission that clearly identified the strategic priorities of potential collaboration between MU and Australian Academic and Research Institutions. In addition to that, the Ambassador of Australia to Ethiopia, His Excellency Ambassador Mark Sawers has visited Mekelle University in September 2016. His visit has been crucial specifically in framing the collaboration with selected institutions in Australia.
The MU delegation was led by President Dr. Kindeya Gebrehiwot and Dr. Abdelkader Kedir - Academic Vice President, Dr. Loko Abraham - Chief Executive Director of CHS, Dr. Kidane Giday - Dean of the CDANR, Dr. Berihu Gebrekidan - Dean of CVM and Mr. Goitom Tegegn - Director of International Affairs were members of the team.
The MU delegation visit to Australia became a reality with a strong support from the Ethiopian Embassy in Canberra, the Australian Embassy in Addis Ababa and scholars and international officers in all the institutions that the delegation visited.
The MU delegation visit to Australia marks a new era of internationalization for the University while MU is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year.