17 November 2014 - Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Virginia H. Benavidez and University of the Philippines (UP) Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director for Institutional Linkages and Professor at the Marine Science Institute Dr. Rhodora V. Azanza met with Pro Vice Chancellor, International Professor Roberto Rabel, and International Programmes Director Jeff Howe at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) on October 28. The meeting was in line with the priority program of the Philippine Embassy in Wellington to promote people-to-people ties and educational links between the Philippines and New Zealand.
Discussions focused on the strengths and areas of specialization of VUW and UP on research, academic programs, exchange of students and faculty, strong commitment for international engagement, training, and research collaboration, among others. It was noted in the meeting that it is hugely important for UP and VUW to come up with arrangements for institutional partnerships and bring together academicians and students with mutual interests in the various fields of study such as the humanities, social sciences, law, international relations, arts and marine sciences. Professor Rabel, Dr. Azanza and Mr. Jeff Howe discussed the possible pathways for cooperation at the university and graduate levels and the subsequent steps to be undertaken to initiate and formalize academic links between UP and VUW. Ambassador Benavidez stated that this is a highly opportune and timely initiative for both equally renowned, highly ranked and internationally recognized universities as education is a priority area of cooperation between the Philippines and New Zealand.
Ambassador Benavidez thanked Dr. Azanza who headed the Philippine delegation to the 16th International Conference on Harmful Algae in Wellington from October 28 to November 01 for her commitment and cooperation to explore and establish UP and VUW academic ties and Professor Rabel and Mr. Jeff Howe for a productive meeting acknowledging the importance of doing more with the Philippines in the educational field.
“The Philippines and New Zealand continue to see great possibilities and prospects and are committed to expanding our partnership in this crucial area,” Ambassador Benavidez said. END