CEE About CEE UPNG/JCU Twinning Project

International Collaboration: The UPNG/JCU Twinning Project

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"… there is a high degree of synergy in the research profiles and priorities of UPNG and JCU—both focusing their attention on the environments and peoples of the region” 

Dr Kathryn Meldrum - Learning, Teaching & Student Engagement

UPNG/JCU Twinning Project

Academic, research and teaching ties between James Cook University in Australia and the University of Papua New Guinea are continuing to grow from strength to strength.

In July 2015 the University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG) and James Cook University (JCU) commenced a three year twinning project, funded by the Australian Government. The Project is linked to a MOU between the two universities and is aimed at building teaching capacity and supporting collaborative research capability in Australia, Papua New Guinea and the broader Asia Pacific region.

The Project is currently being implemented to provide a series of learning, teaching and research activities focused on building the research capacity within the two universities.

The Project deliverables include:

“… This module has given new insight on how to use different concepts in teaching. This module has helped me identify new techniques to apply to my teachings. Thank very much for this opportunity to learn something new.”

Feedback from the Evaluation Survey from the subject ED5301

The UPNG/JCU Twinning Project is being delivered over three years from mid 2015 until mid 2018. A Joint Steering Committee is in place and meetings are delivered quarterly.

Project success will underwrite long-term collaboration between UPNG and JCU.

Success will:

  • Strengthen UPNG's teaching, learning and research capabilities.
  • Further the Memorandum of Understanding established between UPNG and JCU.
  • Provide a platform that contributes to delivery of the State of the Tropics agenda.
  • Open up opportunities for further funding, and;
  • Build UPNG and JCU’s capacity as a preferred supplier of skills and knowledge to strengthen our universities capability and capacity throughout the tropics.

Enquiries about the Twinning Project may be directed to:
The Project Manager, Dr Jennifer Gabriel at The Cairns Institute on +61 7 4232 1875 or email jennifer.gabriel@jcu.edu.au.

Enquiries about the PNG Impact Conference may be directed to:
The Project Officer, Ms Vyvyen Wong on +61 7 4232 1340 or email vyvyen.wong@jcu.edu.au


Cairns Convention Centre | 13 March 2018

On Tuesday 13 March 2018, twenty-two staff of the University of Papua New Guinea were awarded the Graduate Certificate of Education (Academic Practice) at the James Cook University Graduation Ceremony in Cairns. The completion of the Graduate Certificate of Education (Academic Practice) by a select group of UPNG staff is an outcome of the Teaching Quality component of the UPNG/James Cook University (JCU) Twinning Project, funded by the Australian Government.

The Graduate Certificate of Education (Academic Practice) is an internationally recognised qualification designed for academics working in higher education who are looking to improve their educational practice. The course was delivered in 2016 and 2017 and was coordinated by Dr Andrea Lynch, Project Manager of Teaching Quality. Through the course, graduates have been able to:

Build expertise in theories of learning and teaching relevant to higher education;

  • Design and implement curriculum and assessment for contemporary higher educational contexts;
  • Develop a scholarly and research informed approach to teaching in discipline; and
  • Develop a coherent approach to the evaluation of learning and teaching in higher education.

The graduation ceremony was held at the Cairns Convention Centre. The Occasional Address was delivered by Dame Carol Kidu DBE, who was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters (HonDLitt).



Port Moresby | UPNG's Waigani Campus | Held on 12-13 December 2017

Research and education across all disciplines are essential to realizing global and national commitments to sustainable development. Knowledge, design and innovation are as important to governance, peace, safety, health and environmental integrity as they are to economic growth and poverty alleviation. As ICT, energy and bio-technologies transform the ways in which people interact, move and work, worldwide, new opportunities are emerging, both to utilize and to protect, PNG's unique human and natural endowments.

Capitalizing on these opportunities will require more though than simply doing research. At PNG IMPACT, speakers and delegates considered how research can be designed, coordinated and communicated to deliver societal benefit. Recognizing that no one approach is relevant across all disciplines and issues, case studies were presented from a diversity of perspectives, with ample time dedicated to dialogue and networking.

Download the conference program


  • Showcased a cross-selection of active research projects, across the sciences, social sciences and humanities, delivering societal benefit for PNG.
  • Promoted dialogue over how research and research policy can best support aspirations for a safe, inclusive and sustainable society.
  • Provided a platform for network-building among researchers, research institutions and research stakeholders active in PNG.


Day 1. Research Showcase - brought all delegates together in a single plenary format for a mixture of:

  • Keynote presentations showcasing best-practice examples of research providing significant societal impact in PNG.
  • Panel discussions addressing governance, policy and institutional frameworks for high impact research and innovation.

Day 2. Research Innovation Lab - provided an interactive and participatory opportunity for researchers active or interested in PNG to share work, network with colleagues, and explore new collaborations. The program for the day will include a mix of research presentations, facilitated dialogue and open networking.


Day 1 of PNG IMPACT, the Research Showcase, was open to anyone with an interest in the role of research in societal transformation. This included, but was not limited to: policy-makers, donors, philanthropic organisations, business, research leaders, researchers, students, civil society representatives and research students.

Day 2 of PNG IMPACT, the Research Innovation Lab, was open to anyone either active, or aspiring to be active, in the PNG research and innovation sector. Participants included researchers, research stakeholders and research students.


Dr Anna Joskin | Acting Dean of Research, University of Papua New Guinea | e: ajoskin@upng.ac.pg

Distinguished Professor Stewart Lockie | Director, The Cairns Institute, James Cook University | e: stewart.lockie@jcu.edu.au


For more information please contact: Ms Vyvyen Wong - UPNG/JCU Twinning Project Officer | t: +61 7 4232 1340 | e: vyvyen.wong@jcu.edu.au

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Workshop Videos

Writing for Publications Workshops

These workshops are aimed at improving the academic writing skills of participants, fostering collaboration between researchers at UPNG and JCU, and accelerating the submission of high quality manuscripts reporting PNG-based research to international, peer-reviewed scholarly journals. Two workshops have been delivered through the Project and writing teams formed to publish journal articles.

JCU's Early Career Researcher (ECR) workshops

ECR workshops aim to assist new academics to become independent, productive and competitive researchers. Staff members from UPNG have attended the five day ECR workshop to enhance their research skills. For more information, please refer to the video below.

Graduate Certificate of Education (Academic Practice) (GCE)

The GCE aims to support the development of UPNG staff and subsequent design and delivery, JCU staff members work with UPNG staff to deliver the internationally recognised and Australian accredited post-graduate course. The GCE is delivered to three cohorts of UPNG participants, with the transition of the course to be delivered by UPNG as a major outcome. The GCE provides a formal credential, focused on contemporary pedagogies and curriculum design, including skills in the use of accessible learning technologies. It is a four-subject course to support academics to understand, develop and deliver quality academic programs in their discipline area.