Western Australia Minister for Education Elizabeth Constable
Universities’ Agreement To Train Koreans In Mining Engineering
Victor P Taffa
The University of Western Australia and Curtin University today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with 10 Korean universities to assist in training engineers in the energy and mineral resources sectors.
Education Minister Liz Constable met with Professor Changwoo Lee of Dong-A University, Korea, and participated in the signing ceremony at The University of WA.
The Minister said the memorandum of understanding was the foundation for specific co-operative programs which would be negotiated on a one-on-one basis.
“This is a strong endorsement of the quality of Western Australia’s resources sector and our education and training programs which provide the knowledge and skills for the sector.” Dr. Constable said.
“WA already has Strong Commercial Relationships with Korea in the Resources Sector and there are a number of Exchange Programs and Partnerships with Universities in Korea.”
“The future agreements are expected to cover collaboration in education and research, including exchanges of information and experience; exchanges of faculty members and students; co-operative research projects; and an Executive Development Program.” Dr. Constable said.
The Korean universities have formed KEMREP, the Korea Energy and Mineral Resources Engineering Program, which has the financial support of the Korean Government.
KEMREP is keen to commence Korean student exchanges to WA later this year with up to 60 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in short-term programs.
A subsequent MOU is planned between the two universities and KEMREP, with influential Korean organisations, the Energy and Minerals Resources Development Association of Korea (EMRD), the Ministry of Knowledge and Economy, the Korea National Oil Corporation, the Korea Gas Corporation and the Korea Resources Corporation.
EMRD, which oversees the KEMREP programs, is interested in including corporate training programs in the planned MOU, extending the scope of training programs beyond student exchanges.
To extend these relationships in higher education, Dr Constable will lead a delegation of university vice chancellors to Korea in April next year. The visit is expected to include high level meetings with university and business officials and a higher education forum.
The Minister will also promote tourism to Western Australia during her Korean visit.