Nordic, Austrian Envoys, Pledge Support For UNIPORT Brain Gain Initiative

More encomiums have been showered on the University for exploring collaborative opportunities from the Diaspora and industry experts to expose students in the various disciplines to world-class knowledge through its Brain Gain scheme and industry-academia partnership.
The Ambassadors of Finland, Norway and Austria, MrsRiittaKorpivaara, Mr Rolf Ree and Mr Joachim Oppinger, who made the commendation in separate remarks during a familiarization visit to the University last Wednesday, said the outing which was their first official trip to Rivers State since their arrival in Nigeria, provided them ample opportunity to access information about the State and parts of the core Niger Delta outside their offices in Abuja.
Ambassador of Finland, Her Excellency, MrsKorpivaara, who said that the brain gain policy and industry partnership of the University were good strategies to enhance quality service delivery, disclosed that similar approaches aimed at exposing students to quality education were also obtainable in Finnish institutions of higher learning.
“We are interested in knowing about your exchange programmes, as well as the gender balance in academic enrolment in the University and perception of the role of women in the University of Port Harcourt work environment”, she disclosed, expressing willingness of the visiting envoys to partner the University in delivering quality education to students and provide an enabling environment for researchers.
MrsKorpivaara, who further disclosed that the diplomats embarked on the four-day trip to acquaint themselves with the developmental needs of the people, said the Finnish Embassy is interested in promoting education and trade for the growth of the Niger Delta region, observing that the University of Port Harcourt accommodates more students compared to the biggest tertiary institution in Finland, Helsinki University of Technology, which she said has a student population of about 17,000.
Norwegian Ambassador, MrRee, who also expressed satisfaction with what he met on ground, said that he was particularly impressed with the University's giant strides in Petroleum and Gas, History and Niger Delta Studies, as well as the Film industry, while the Austrian Ambassador, MrOppinger, indicated interest in partnering the University in the medical sciences.
Earlier in his address, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Joseph Ajienka, who gave a brief profile of the University, disclosed that current emphasis was focused on graduate research as part of efforts of a deliberate effort by the current administration to capitalize knowledge. He recalled the Institution's leading role in Sports, Petroleum Engineering and Geo-sciences, as well as Medical Sciences and Music. Professor Ajienka reminded the august visitors that the first African Miss World¸ AgbaniDarego was a student of the University when she contested and won the Pageant. He also reeled out a long list of distinguished academics, who won laurels in and outside the country since its inception.
The Ambassadors, who first interacted with Principal and Senior Officers of the University, later met with student leaders on issues ranging from mentorship, gender balance, student politics, appraisal of performance of Lecturers and sundry academic activities.
Also on the entourage were the Deputy Head of Mission, MrLauriVoionmaa, MrAtteLaitinen and HeikkiValisuo of the Embassy of Finland.
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