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USP Cook Islands to host 5th Pacific Islands Universities Research Network Conference

Wednesday 28 June 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Education, National


USP Cook Islands to host 5th Pacific Islands Universities Research Network Conference
USP Cook Islands to host 5th Pacific Islands Universities Research Network Conference, next week. SUPPLIED/23062715

The University of the South Pacific (USP) Cook Islands Campus with Te Puna Vai Marama (Cook Islands Centre for Research), is hosting the 5th Pacific Islands Universities Research Network (PIURN) Conference next week.

With 220 delegates from all over the Pacific (Hawaii to Fiji, Papua New Guinea to Samoa, French Polynesia to Australia), the conference (July 4-6) is focusing on “Exploring this Sea of Islands”, engaging with the work of one of the Pacific's most revered academics, Epeli Hau'ofa.

Dr Debi Futter-Puati said the PIURN Conference highlights the diversity of research in the region and brings together academics, researchers and students to meet, exchange and discuss about the common challenges faced by this “Sea of Islands”.

“From politics to biodiversity, linguistics to art and film-making, communities to indigenous knowledge, the delegates will experience new methodologies and discover potential research collaborations.”

A special celebration, a ‘Festschrift’, a volume of writings in honour of one of the most revered researchers of the Cook Islands, Dr Marjorie Crocombe, and USP Alumni, will be hosted next  Wednesday, to commemorate her incredible scholarly contribution, added Dr Futter- Puati.

Thirty scholarships for PIURN Members Universities Students and Early Career Researchers have been sponsored and awarded, they will also participate in the research workshops.

The Conference will also celebrate PIURN 10-years anniversary.

The network, officially brings together Universities from the Pacific Islands countries and territories, which collectively decided to work together at enhancing their capability to address the challenges faced by the region.

Since 2013, with 14 Members Universities, they have managed to support the development of closer collaboration amongst their researchers and academics while addressing social priorities, economic growth and environmental challenges in the Pacific Region.

PIURN strengthened the cooperation between Pacific Universities, connecting between languages, geographies and cultures across the sea of islands.

Co-chaired by the USP and the University of New Caledonia (UNC), PIURN is labelled by the United Nations as a Sustainable Development Goals Action.

Prime Minister, Mark Brown will officially open the ceremony on Tuesday, July 4th.