The University of New South Wales has strengthened its teaching and research ties in India, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Manipal University last weekend (24 June).

The MoU, co-signed by UNSW Pro Vice-Chancellor Jennie Lang and Manipal University Pro-Chancellor H.S. Ballal, creates greater opportunities for exchange programs and research collaboration between the universities.

Under the agreement, undergraduate and postgraduate students in the life sciences and engineering disciplines will have the opportunity to participate in student exchange programs. Research ties are also boosted, through collaborative research projects and faculty exchange.

One joint research project is already underway involving Associate Professor John Whitelock from UNSW and Dr Satyamoorthy, Director Manipal Life Sciences Centre, in the convergent areas of biomedical engineering and life sciences. This team will bid for joint research funds from the Australian Government to support their collaborative work later this year.

"I am delighted UNSW has formalised its relationship with one of the leading private universities in India and the most international university in South Asia," says Pro-Vice Chancellor (International) Jennie Lang. "UNSW looks forward to exchanging students from 2008 and exploring other collaborative research initiatives. Manipal University is currently ranked 5th in India in Medicine and 6th in Engineering out of a pool of more than 350 universities."

UNSW has more than 200 sister university partnerships around the world, making it one of Australia's leading international universities. The University is home to several internationally recognised research developments in the fields of quantum computing, photovoltaics, HIV/AIDS research, interactive cinema, and polymer chemistry.

Manipal University, formerly known as the Manipal Academy of Higher Education, has more than 96,000 students representing more than 51 countries. Its main campus in Manipal is supported by campuses in Sikkim (India), Nepal and Melaka (Malaysia). Manipul University has links with institutions in Australia, Germany, Nepal and the USA.