CAPE update from the Provost

An update on the Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence from Provost Professor Wendy Larner.

"In March, the government announced that Victoria had been selected as the lead institution for two of the three Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence that are being established, dedicated to South East Asia and Latin America. The third CAPE, focused on North Asia, is hosted by the University of Auckland. A key feature of the CAPEs is their consortium approach.

With that in mind, I am delighted to let you know that we have now concluded our discussions with the Tertiary Education Commission and the formal CAPEs funding letters have been received. A formal consortium agreement with Auckland, Otago and Waikato universities has been drafted and we anticipate signing it shortly.

The CAPEs will commence from 1 July 2017, although preliminary discussions with key stakeholders have already begun. The first six months of the CAPEs will take the form of an ‘establishment phase’, and we expect all three CAPEs to be fully up and running by the beginning of 2018. Rob Rabel, who has led negotiations with our partner universities, has kindly agreed to continue as the Establishment Director for the SE Asian CAPE, and we will be seeking an Establishment Director for the Latin American CAPE. The CAPE Directors will report to Professor Frazer Allan (as Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement). Auckland University is also seeking a Director for the North Asian CAPE.

In addition to the externally facing discussions, Victoria will need to have internal conversations about how best to deliver on the CAPEs. Our Faculties, Schools, the NZ Contemporary China Research Centre, the Centre for Strategic Studies, the Victoria Institute for Latin American Linkages, the Asia-Pacific Trading Nations distinctiveness theme, the Confucius Institute, the Centre for Lifelong Learning, BNZ Chair in Business in Asia, English Language Institute, Language Learning Centre and others will all benefit from CAPEs activity, and the challenge is for us to be greater than the sum of our parts.

As Provost, I will be fully supportive of Frazer and our CAPEs teams and look forward to the exciting new opportunities they will bring."