- Like-minded universities to cooperate for impactful research across shared areas of expertise
- Benefits include the exchange of students, research and teaching staff
- MoU stems from the pending local government Sister City Agreement between Bathurst City Council and Cirencester Town Council in the UK
Charles Sturt University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for academic co-operation with Hartpury University in the United Kingdom, providing both institutions the opportunity for student and staff exchanges, joint initiatives and collaborative research.
Hartpury University in Gloucestershire has close links with Bathurst Regional Council, and a similar ethos and profile to Charles Sturt, including significant interest in supporting regional economic development and sustainability.
The MoU includes, but is not limited to, co-operation concerning:
- the development of collaborative research projects and programs;
- the organisation of joint academic and scientific activities, such as courses, conferences, seminars, symposia or lectures;
- the promotion of artistic and cultural activities;
- the exchange of research and teaching staff;
- the development of staff development programs;
- the exchange of students.
Charles Sturt University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Engagement) Professor Heather Cavanagh said, “This is an exciting opportunity to link with a like-minded university in parallel with links between the two cities. We look forward to developing close links and some exciting projects with Hartpury University.”
Vice-Chancellor of Hartpury University Mr Russell Marchant, said: “We’re extremely proud to announce our new partnership with Charles Sturt University, ranked number one university for graduate employment in Australia.
“We’re both passionate about driving forward impactful research across our shared areas of expertise, and providing our students and research staff with opportunities to make a positive difference to the world.
“We also look forward to drawing on the expertise of staff and the world-class facilities and resources at both institutions to act as specialist hubs for wider community relationships and provide co-ordinated services to business.”
The unusual origin of this MoU stems from the pending local government Sister City Agreement between Bathurst City Council and Cirencester Town Council, which itself was born of Bathurst’s bicentennial commemoration in 2015.
Cirencester is approximately 24 miles south-east of Hartpury, and the introduction to both universities was initiated by Councillor Jess Jennings (pictured) of Bathurst Regional Council.
Cr Jennings said, “I’m delighted to see this MoU signed and ready to deliver closer ties between Charles Sturt University and Hartpury University.
“I’ve personally been working on it with Hartpury University representative Mr Simon King for six months when we first devised the idea, and sought respective internal in-principle approvals.
“We’ve met fortnightly by ZOOM ever since to pull it together, and despite the impact of COVID-19; in fact, COVID-19 probably motivated us to get a positive result.
“Since 2015 the two municipalities have become closer and closer with Earle Bathurst and Simon King both spending time in Bathurst, and I personally visited Cirencester a few years back as local Councillor to help grow the friendship.
“There’s much to gain from this MoU, especially to mitigate COVID impacts.”
Councillor Jennings said if the Bathurst-Cirencester Sister City agreement is in place soon there should be even more opportunities from the forthcoming Brexit deal, when the UK splits from the European Union, combined with Australia’s emerging Free Trade Agreement with Britain, both of which are slated to be finalised on 31 December 2020.
“The MoU signing also offers the opportunity for the University in Bathurst to refresh its valuable relationship with Bathurst Regional Council, particularly as the host city for future visitors from the UK,” he said.
“There is also a diversity of new relationships between students, businesses, traders, researchers and more – all supported by a multi-faceted connection between two great parts of regional Australia and regional Britain.”