UWA Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) (Acting) and AfREC Research Fellow Prof. Erika Techera and AfREC Director Dr David Mickler met with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Secretary-General and other executive members at IORA Headquarters in Port Louis, Mauritius, on 23 July 2019.
The meeting was convened to discuss opportunities to deepen research and education collaboration in the Indian Ocean region building on the IORA Academic Group, the establishment of AfREC at UWA, UWA’s collaborative international course on International Relations in the Indian Ocean Region and in the context of UWA’s new Vision 2030 strategy that positions the Indian Ocean Rim at the University’s strategic region and draws upon on the work of key UWA bodies including the Oceans Institute, Institute of Agriculture and Public Policy Institute. As indicated by UWA Vice-Chancellor Prof. Dawn Freshwater, “UWA is one of the world's great universities. Situated as it is at the fulcrum of the Indian Ocean Rim, we play a key role in shaping the social and economic transformation of the region.”
The productive meetings with IORA Secretary-General, Ambassador Dr Nomvuyo Nokwe, Directors Gareth Rees and Marc Livsey, and Chair in Indian Ocean Studies (CIOS) Prof. V. Attri, was centred upon expanding the existing Indian Ocean regional education collaboration between UWA, the University of Pretoria and Universitas Paramadina (Jakarta) by bringing in additional education partners while formalising the program under the IORA umbrella. The discussion included suggestions to build a regional research repository and wider regional university network.
Separately, Prof. Techera and Dr Mickler met with the Australian High Commission in Port Louis to discuss similar themes, drawing on the discussions and opportunities presented by the AAUN Forum held in Mauritius and associated roundtable with representatives of organisations in the Mauritius education sector chaired by Australian High Commission to Mauritius H.E. Ms Jenny Dee.