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October 13, 2009

IGNOU signs MoU with Papua New Guinea Varsity of technology

New Delhi:Indira Gandhi National Open University today signed a generic memorandum of understanding with an island nation on the Pacific, Papua New Guinea’s University of Technology (PNG UNITECH), for a slew of educational and training programmes. This makes IGNOU’s presence in 34 countries with 53 partner institutions (PIs) abroad.

The PNG UNITECH has a dedicated Open and Distance Learning department, which will further its ODL outreach in collaboration with IGNOU.

The IGNOU programme at the PNG UNITECH are likely to start from July 2010 session. According to Dr Silima Nanda, director incharge of IGNOU’s International Division, the identification of programmes for education and training, meetings of the joint coordination committee etc will take about 3-4 months. As the country has its session beginning from February and ours in January and July, some standard understanding will have to be developed before the IGNOU programmes take off in the island nation.

The MoU envisages development of cultural, educational and scientific ties of cooperation between the two universities. The MoU will also encourage academic exchange and collaboration to advance education and training in the two institutions.

Besides usual common goals of higher education and training, the tie-up aims to offer degree, diploma and certificate programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and stress Research and Development, application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) education and interactive multimedia and interactive education deliveries. The stress will eventually expand the educational horizon of the island nation especially in areas of ODL, multimedia and ICTs.

To these goals, a network for cooperation in the field of higher education will be developed in distance education. There will be faculty exchange and sharing of experiences time to time, said the MoU. According to the representatives of the PNG UNITECH, the expertise from IGNOU and joint R&D projects, applications of ICTs and multimedia in distance education will develop the island university greatly to start newage
academic programmes.

Said Professor Mohammad Abdus Sattar, the UNITECH’s pro-Vice Chancellor for academic affairs, the island has 400,000 sqaure kilometres in area, six universities and about 30 colleges of all types. The UNITECH intends to bring in modern curricula for students. It has 13 degree programmes which includes four (4) in engineering, three (3) in natural sciences such as agriculture, food technology etc., environment research and management studies among others. The UNITECH has three (3) affiliated colleges which are technology oriented for forestry, timber, nursing etc and seven research centre.

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