Leading beyond borders

The University’s ambitious plans to expand and strengthen global partnerships have been unveiled in UWA 2030, as it aspires to become a pivotal knowledge hub for the Indian Ocean Rim region.

As an authoritative global leader in education, and cross-disciplinary and translatable research, we will forge and nurture strong, deep partnerships that reinforce our position as the fulcrum of the Indian Ocean Rim.
UWA 2030

Leading UWA’s efforts will be Tayyeb Shah, recently appointed as the inaugural Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) following an extensive international search. Mr Shah joins UWA after 12 years at King's College London as Deputy Vice President (Global Business Development) and Director, International.

Through collaboration and engagement across geographic borders, research disciplines and industries, UWA intends to play a pivotal role in shaping the social and economic transformation of the region.

Sharing our collective intelligence

As the University strives to become a driving force for positive change globally, interdisciplinary mechanisms, such as UWA’s Africa Research & Engagement Centre (AfREC) and the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) provide an important platform for strategic engagement.

Perth’s unique location – Australia’s only west-facing capital city providing a gateway with Africa across the Indian Ocean – positions AfREC to be an Australia-based platform for growing Australia-Africa relations. Launched in August 2018, the centre supports the Africa-related work of the University’s flagship institutes including the Institute of Agriculture, Oceans Institute and Public Policy Institute. AfREC’s Director, Dr David Mickler, said the centre promoted research collaboration, teaching, training and engagement on Africa-related themes with academia, communities, government and industry.

"It also serves as a public platform to discuss important issues that are relevant to the African continent, African-Australian communities and Australia-Africa relations," Dr Mickler said. This focus on driving public discussion has already seen AfREC work with a number of key international and local networks, as hosts, co-chairs and research contributors. It is helping to co-convene a number of innovative community engagement programs such as the WA African Women’s Leadership, Empowerment and Development (A-LEAD) Program, a series of leadership professional development and mentoring sessions for women in WA African-Australian communities, commencing later this year.

The MNU comprises seven high-quality, research-intensive universities working collaboratively to make a strong global impact. UWA is leading collaboration on the research theme of Oceans and Blue Economy, a timely and topical policy issue in the Indian Ocean Region, which explores the challenge of harnessing wealth from the oceans through shipping and transport, fisheries, energy and tourism, balanced with sustainable management and conservation. Leading the research collaboration, which has involved a workshop in 2017 and a book publication, are UWA’s Dr Erika Techera, Professor of Environmental Law, and Professor Ryan Lowe from UWA’s Oceans Institute. Following the success of the first workshop, the University will host a second event in December this year, focusing on Energy and the Oceans. With a clear agenda of multidisciplinarity, these events bring together a diverse mix of experts to identify integrated solutions to ocean challenges.

Professor Techera said these workshops were a great way to build and strengthen inter-university linkages. "Working collaboratively ensures we harness different perspectives and research approaches. When it comes to oceans and environmental concerns, it is incredibly valuable to learn lessons from different regions of the world. We all benefit from greater understanding of the work of other researchers in responding to marine challenges," she said.

Collaboration begins on campus

UWA is cementing its position as a pre-eminent partner for industry, government and the community with a world-class learning space for engineering and mathematical students currently under construction. Intended to prepare the workforce of the future, the EZONE UWA Student Hub represents a massive investment, both financial and intellectual, in WA’s knowledge economy.

Made possible through substantial investment by leading industry partners BHP and Woodside Energy, and a number of generous alumni donations, the space is designed for collaboration and will see industry and alumni interacting with academics, staff and students – turning research into real-world benefits faster and more effectively.

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Professor John Dell, said EZONE UWA would be a go-to destination for industry, government and global research partners.

"The goal is to provide significant opportunities to co-locate with industry and that will start with Foundation Partners BHP and Woodside," Professor Dell said.

"EZONE UWA will provide an unparalleled student experience, building an innovative and collaborative culture based on a science, technology, engineering and mathematics capability like no other in the country."

The building is scheduled to open in 2020.