PNG’s national university eyes ‘global’ ties with China

PNG chancellor Robert Igara
PNG chancellor Robert Igara . . . We'll will be able to provide opportunities for staff, students and graduates to widen their experience.” Image: UPNG/The National

By Dylan Murray in Port Moresby

University of Papua New Guinea chancellor Robert Igara says his administration is in talks with the Chinese Embassy to establish a relationship with a Chinese university.

Chancellor Igara said the purpose of the partnership was to promote exchange between the universities and build people-to-people relations between the two countries.

“Through this process, we will be able to provide opportunities for staff, students and graduates to widen their experience,” he said.

Igara said UPNG had the support of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Minister Don Polye and Prime Minister James Marape to pursue the initiative.

Chinese Ambassador Zheng Fanhua said the Chinese Embassy was willing to provide assistance to UPNG.

Zheng said educational investment was one of the most important types of investments.

He said parents in China believed in this and he had noticed during his time as ambassador that PNG parents felt the same.

“I believe it is essential to strengthen people-to-people exchanges,” he said.

“The Chinese government will continue to provide government scholarships for young Papua New Guineans to study in China.

“My embassy is ready to help PNG universities, including UPNG, establish partnerships with Chinese universities and promote exchange,” Zheng said.

Igara also announced that following approval by the school senate and academic council, they would be partnering with the Chinese Embassy to begin the teaching of the Chinese language, Mandarin, in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

He said PNG was lucky enough to have many different languages but he encouraged the graduates to also learn one foreign language — “whether it’s French, German, Japanese or Chinese”.

“A modern country should be able to communicate with others in the global community,” he said.

Dylan Murray is a National reporter. Republlshed with permission.

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