Our very own and a well respected academic and SI appointed Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. Transform Aqorau joined Solomon Islands National University as visiting Professor at the newly established Institute of Ocean, Islands, and Sustainable Development. The institute was recently established under the re-structured SINU from January 2020.
Dr. Aqorau described the establishment of the institute as a brilliant idea for the country and what the Solomon Islands really need, as it will be a focal point in which applied research can be done on our natural resources since we have an economy that is dependent on our natural resources. “The Solomon Islands should have done this a long time ago.” Dr. Aqorau emphasized.
“I am so humbled to be invited by SINU to be a visiting professor for ocean studies. It is really a privilege and honour to be given this association to share my knowledge and my network to help build the institute to an internationally reputable institute that will be able to partner with other international institutes and that can also bring in resources to the country.” Dr. Aqorau said.
“The Institute could potentially be flagships for SINU where real expertise can be developed in the work that we’re doing that sustain our economy around our forestry, agriculture, oceans, and resources.” explained Dr. Aqorau.
He expects more collaboration between the agencies in the country such as the Ministry of Fisheries, FFA, World fish, etc. with the new Institute since we have world-class fisheries facilities at SINU.
“Part of the drive for the institute is to set up a post-graduate program in natural resources and eventually leading up to a master’s program. It is a huge opportunity for people who are working and want to up-skill their knowledge by doing applied research. We’re working on a program in which our graduands will be able to stand on their own in the region and in the world.” Dr. Aqorau stated.
Dr. Aqorau also shared his views on the place of Universities in knowledge creation. He said, “Building a University is an evolutionary process and it’s not easy. A University is a place where you promote intellectual ideas and the more you reach out to people from outside, the more knowledge you bring in. Knowledge is not stacked only to us Solomon Islanders, knowledge is a universal thing, and we need to be more open-minded about people who come here because our students will be enriched by the experience that they get from people all over the world coming here to work and teach.
We have to make our University an attractive one, and students from overseas who wish to do research on our natural resources should do it here, get enrolled in our programs, and do the research at SINU; this will also enrich the programs we’re offering.” Dr. Aqorau concluded.
Dr. Transform Aqorau will be with SINU until such time the COVID-19 pandemic is over and he is able to travel to the United States to take up his appointment as the SI Ambassador to the United Nations.