A leading Australian academic and research institution, the University of New South Wales, (UNSW), Sydney, is seeking to collaborate with the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) in petroleum and energy research and related areas of academic activity.

The University’s Vice President, External Relations, Fiona Docherty who led a team of the university faculty on a courtesy visit to PTDF said the institution wants to benefit from the Fund’s international reputation as the leading agency of the Nigerian government for capacity building in the oil and gas industry. She said the transparency and integrity of the Fund’s management of the overseas scholarship scheme, manifest in the emergence of exceptional scholars some of whom recorded breakthroughs in their areas of study and research.

She said that, Nigeria’s global reputation informed the university administration’s decision to list it among the countries in Africa they are desirous of strengthening academic ties with.  “I have been to Uganda and my colleagues are coming from Kenya but my first option has always been Nigeria because Nigeria has a global reputation. We are here to acknowledge that and to understand how we might deepen ties between Australia and Nigeria. We are poised to host some of your sponsored students and I want to you to have faith in our university because it is committed. We have been doing it on petroleum and renewable energy sector and I hope the Australian experience is paying dividends not just for PTDF but for your national energy strategy”.

Fiona Docherty outlined petroleum engineering and renewable energy as two of the possible areas of collaboration between PTDF and the Australian university which she said can form the basis for a national energy strategy between the two countries.

Executive Secretary, PTDF, Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau in his remark, welcomed the idea of collaborating with the university emphasizing that, the proposal for partnership is timely as the Fund is reviewing its engagement with many universities across the globe with preference on tuition free universities.

We have in the last decade sent students across the globe. Most of our engagements are in the UK and lately we expanded to Germany and China. We are looking at the value of accumulated expertise in different countries and in specific areas we are concerned with, that is oil and gas and energy. As we are dealing with hundreds and thousands of students, we are also looking at the cost, so it’s a very important selling point for us if we can commence discussion with you especially as we are in the midst of reviewing our engagements across the globe”.

The Executive Secretary directed the Education and Training department of the Fund to commence collaborative discussions with the Australian university, expressing confidence of a meaningful outcome that will form the basis for sustained relationship between the university and PTDF.

Kalu Otisi Esq

Head, Press and External Relations Unit