The N-POC Partnership
The baseline rationale for the N-POC programme is that innovative Pacific-based research and Pacific-centred approaches are needed to support the Pacific stewardship of the ocean in a changing climate, and that global university partnerships provide channels for best practice in building Pacific research at the ocean-climate nexus.
The long-standing relationship between between N-POC partners The University of the South Pacific (SUP) and the University of Bergen (UiB) lays a solid foundation for an auspicious institutional partnership and effective collaboration. The partners have a long record of collaboration on research projects, performing arts, student exchange and science-driven ocean and climate diplomacy, and manage their collaboration through a broad Memorandum of Understanding. N-POC will build on complementarity between the two universities; UiB is one of Norway’s largest universities and has a strategic research focus on ocean, climate and global challenges. USP is the Pacific Islands region’s own multi-country university with 12 member states, and has a focus on ocean and climate from its regional position at the frontline of climate change.
While N-POC is a collaboration between two universities, it also encompasses a relationship and partnership between Norway and 15 Pacific Island nations. Through the 12-nation ownership of the University of the South Pacific and the involvement in the PhD programme of three additional Pacific states (Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and Papua New Guinea), the entire region of the PSIDS will enter into a 4-year intensive partnership effort with Norway, represented by the University of Bergen, to explore the ocean-climate nexus in the broadest possible multidisciplinary manner: from poetry to physical oceanography, and everything in between.
About the N-POC partners:
The University of the South Pacific (USP), founded in 1968, with its headquarters in Laucala Bay, Suva, Fiji, is a key contributor to the development of Pacific Island countries and the region’s premier University providing a primary source of high-quality graduates in the region. USP strives towards excellence in the provision of tertiary education and aims to build on and preserve the Pacific heritage. It proactively engages with the region and its island communities, and with international partners, on major development issues relevant to the region. The University has positioned itself as a leader in research and education that is original, modern, and readily applicable in addressing the problems and challenges faced by its member countries. Jointly owned by 12 Pacific countries, the USP is one of only two truly regional universities in the world, and is not only a higher education institute, but also an active agent of regional integration, with campuses in all 12 countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. The steady supply of graduates has contributed to meeting the growing development needs of the region for over 50 years. The USP is dedicated to addressing the Sustainable Development Goals and has a particular strategic focus on SDG 13 and SDG 14, increasingly setting its targets for programme development with direct reference to a range of SDGs and specific targets of special relevance to the region. Number of students: 31.310 (2019). Number of employees: 1498 (2019).
The University of Bergen (UiB) is an international research university dedicated to advancing research, science, and higher education. Founded in 1948, the university is young, but grew out of a much longer academic and scientific tradition which had evolved at the Bergen Museum since its foundation in 1825. The UiB focuses on basic research, PhD training, research-based teaching, and the development of academic disciplines in all fields across seven faculties. The University of Bergen has an EU office in Brussels and is involved in extensive international collaboration with universities on all continents. It is a member of several international university networks and organizations: the Coimbra Group, The European University Association (EUA), the International Association of Universities (IAU), the Utrecht Network, and Worldwide Universities network (WUN) are just some. UiB has a particularly strong set of experiences, expertise, and overall qualifications for this programme’s thematic focus on research and PhD training at the ocean-climate nexus. UiB’s strategy sets out three main fields of multidisciplinary strategy for research and higher education: marine science, climate change research, and research on global societal challenges. The University has taken a lead in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals within Norway’s university sector by hosting an annual national SDG Conference, and by developing strategic cross-campus efforts through the strategic initiative SDG Bergen. UiB has global leadership in UN agencies for SDG14. Number of students: 17 468 (2019). Number of employees: 3944 (2019).