The Royal University of Bhutan and Edith Cowan University (ECU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday to promote academic and scholarly cooperation between the colleges and schools of two universities.

Through the MoU, the two universities will collaborate in staff and student exchange, research, capacity building, and joint programme development collaborations.

ECU is a multi-campus institution, offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Perth and Bunbury, Western Australia. ECU offers more than 300 courses on a broad range of disciplines. The university has about 29,000 students under 12 colleges and school under the university.

“There are lots of scholarship if students wants to come and study at ECU. If the students are interested they can contact ECU and we can see if there is a suitable scholarship to their needs. But beyond that there will be funding for staff transport, student exchange, mobility, to develop research, and a whole range of it,” ECU’s vice-chancellor, Steve Kenneth Chapman said.

Various schools of ECU have worked with Paro College of Education (PCE), Samtse College of Education (SCE), and Gaeddu College of Business Studies (GCBS) in the past.

Director for research and international relations at RUB, Phanchung, said that SCE and ECU’s school of arts and humanities has already collaborated to develop a curriculum on BA of arts and social work.

He added that ECU’s school of education and PCE has already worked to develop a programme on ECCD. “PCE gives ECCD programme in winter. It is a diploma programme. Now they wanted to expand this as a regular programme.”

Prior to the MoU signing yesterday, a twelve-member delegation led by Professor Steve Chapman, and presidents and representatives from various RUB colleges discussed possible future activities the schools and colleges could collaborate on.

To initiate partnership between the two universities, RUB facilitated 10 undergraduate students from ECU for the two-week short-term study abroad programme in Bhutan.

The 10 students accompanied by the academic supervisor completed their educational programme yesterday.

The school of engineering under ECU also provided several books to various RUB colleges.

Sherubtse College also received media tool kit.

Before the signing of the MoU, the vice-chancellors of the two universities, delegates, and representatives of the RUB colleges planted trees in the morning to celebrate the collaboration.

Phurpa Lhamo