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Source: Massey University


(from left) Heather Tootell, Dr Leonel Alvarado, Maree Brannigan, Djhoanna Lambert, Professor Valmor Alberto Augusto Tricoli (Associate Director for International Cooperation), Professor Paul Spoonley, Professor Raul Machado Neto (Provost for International Cooperation at Universidade de Sao Paulo), Associate Professor Kerry Taylor, Professor Laura Patrícia Zuntini de Izarra (Associate Director for National and International Cooperation), Professor Gustavo Martineli Massola (Environmental and Social Psychology), and Angela Drake at Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paolo, Brazil.


New projects involving research and study exchanges, scholarships and collaboration in education, linguistics, psychology and development studies were on the agenda for a delegation from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences to Brazil, Colombia and Mexico this month.

The group of eight, led by Distinguished Professor Paul Spoonley, Pro Vice- Chancellor of the college, visited key university and government contacts to build on partnerships and agreements fostered over the past four years. 

The college has been forging academic links with a number of universities in Latin American countries with education, trade and business ties to New Zealand. 

Alongside Professor Spoonley in the delegation were Associate Professor Kerry Taylor, head of the School of Humanities; Professor Glenn Banks, head of the School of People, Environment and Planning; Associate Professor Leonel Alvarado, head of the Spanish programme in the School of Humanities; Maree Brannigan, Director – Taatai Angitu e3@Massey, Institute of Education; Heather Tootell, business manager for the college; Djhoanna Lambert, international manager for the college and Angela Drake, manager – international relations, International Relations Office.

(from left) Angela Drake, Professor Paul Spoonley, Carolina Meikle, Terry Meikle, Djhoanna Lambert, Maree Brannigan, Professor Glenn Banks, Associate Professor Kerry Taylor, Heather Tootell, (alumnus based in Mexico) Liz Alvarado in Mexico City, and Associate Professor Leonel Alvarado.


Agri links with Mexico forged

Highlights of the trip included a meeting in Mexico City with Terry Meikle, Mexico’s Agriculture Counsellor Latin America, Ministry for Primary Industries, and a visit to Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, with whom Massey is about to sign a Memoradum of Understanding, to discuss the possibility of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México providing a Diploma in Oceania with input from Massey.

Ms Drake met with the Rector of the Universidad Autonoma Chapingo, and was invited to attend the First National Congress of the Mexican Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sector hosted by the Universidad Autonoma Chapingo.

“With rural development a key priority for the Mexican government, Massey University hopes to build on its longstanding partnership with the University of Chapingo by supporting collaborative activities in agriculture and rural development through its College of Sciences and Social Sciences,” she says.

In Bogota, Colombia, the group visited the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, followed by a reception co-hosted by Professor Spoonley and the New Zealand Ambassador to Colombia, which was attended by senior members of Colombia’s key government bodies including the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Professor Paul Spoonley with Professor Raul Machado Neto, Sao Paolo Brazil, commemorating the Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed in July 2018.


Indigenous language focus for collaboration

On a separate visit to Universidad de los Andes, the delegation discussed potential projects, including scholarships to do a short course at Los Andes in the area of indigenous languages. An academic collaboration in indigenous language revitalisation is also on the radar, as well as the idea for a symposium linking their newly established Sustainable Development Goals Research Centre with relevant academics in Massey’s School of People, Environment and Planning.  

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a visit to Universidade Estadual de Campinas culminated in Professor Spoonley delivering a guest lecture on: The Challenges of Superdiversity in Gateway Cities.   

Dr Taylor says the delegation signed academic collaboration agreements with the top public research-led universities, the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Universidade Estadual de Campinas and Universidade Estadual Paulista.

With the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, the School of Humanities and Te-Pūtahi-a-Toi (the School of Māori Knowledge) have also established a language revitalisation project with the Kaingang indigenous community. 

Last week, the school launched a new Portuguese language programme at Massey. It will be the only tertiary level programme in this language in New Zealand. 

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