New Zealand may see an increased presence of academics and students from Sri Lanka, following a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Massey University and the University of Colombo and the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU).
The MoU followed the visit of a delegation led by Massey University Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey to Sri Lanka last month.
The delegation included Nick Nelson from the Centre for Defence and Security Studies, Professor Tony Norris from the Institute of Information and Maths Sciences and National Centre for Teaching and Learning Director Professor Mark Brown.
Opportunities for student exchanges, joint research and teaching are among goals outlined in the MoU, including common interests and the potential mutual benefits from collaboration and cooperation in areas such as student exchanges, academic collaboration, postgraduate and doctoral study.
Mr Maharey said that a large number of University of Colombo senior staff attended the signing and that there was an opportunity to discuss a number of mutually beneficial issues.
“Student exchanges, communication, joint research and teaching, and blended learning and sport were among the issues discussed,” he said.
The agreement with KDU was based on defence but the universities shared similar interests and strengths.
“While the focus of the relationship is currently on defence, security and disaster management, another wide ranging discussion revealed that land, water use, sustainability, humanities and logistics management were of interest to KDU,” Mr Maharey said.
Mr Maharey, Mr Nelson and Professor Norris also presented papers at an international symposium hosted by KDU.