University of Alberta
By Michael Davies-Venn
November 10, 2010
Vesela Mrđen Korać, Croatia's ambassador to Canada, and Carl Amrhein, U of A provost and vice president (academic), sign agreement establishing the Croatian Research Doctoral Fellowship. (Front image from L-R) Jelena Bulić, first Croatian Doctoral Fellowship recipient, Franz Szabo, founding director of the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies, and Korać.
(Edmonton) The University of Alberta and the Alberta government have signed agreements with the Government of Croatia that will create opportunities for Alberta’s education institutions in that country. It establishes the Croatian Research Doctoral Fellowship at the U of A’s Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies and enhances the university’s involvement with Edmonton’s Croatian community.
Annette Trimbee, deputy minister, Alberta Ministry of Advanced Education and Technology, and Croatia’s ambassador to Canada signed a memorandum of understanding Nov. 9, which the founding director of the Wirth Institute, Franz Szabo, says paves the way for higher education institutions in the province to benefit from.
“A lot of European governments, especially countries that were part of the Eastern Bloc, have legislation that makes it difficult to reach specific agreements with universities and other institutions, unless a broad government to government framework is there within which that agreement can happen,” said Szabo.
“This agreement with the provincial government represents that broad framework.”
The agreement comes following negotiations between Szabo and the Croatian government and Trimbee says the agreement creates important links for Alberta’s students and researchers. She notes that the U of A continues to be a leader in creating such opportunities.
“Through this memorandum of understanding, we will be able to share the best resource available to us: our knowledge. Alberta places great emphasis on the international relationships fostered by our post secondary institutions and we are particularly proud of the U of A. This university is a leader in developing successful international partnerships based upon the highest standards of teaching and research capabilities.”
Provost and Vice-President (academic) Carl Amrhein underscores the role of the U of A in putting Alberta on the international map. He says that the university takes great care in meeting the needs of the ministry and the province and that the Wirth Institute—Canada’s only such institute—has been meeting its local, national and international mandate since it was established more than a decade ago. Amrhein says the agreement with the Croatian government closes a long list of European countries currently supporting the institute.
“The signing of this agreement means that the central European dimension of our institute is now complete and that the U of A can take pride in having all of the Central European countries represented in the flags of the institute,” Amrhein said.
Until now, the governments of Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia have been supporting the Wirth Institute, which Amrhein describes as “Canada’s ambassador for Central European study abroad.” Croatian ambassador to Canada, Vesela Mrđen Korać, says the agreement with the provincial government is the first step in a long and lasting co-operation and friendship.
“And when it comes to friendship, I will like to emphasize the role of the Croatian community in Canada. They work to build bridges and friendship between our government and our people. I’m sure that each one of 9,655 members of our community in Alberta has been supporting and promoting their homeland, Croatia, and contributing to Canada.”
Evidence of that contribution was seen at the signing ceremony when Stejpan Krolo, president of the Canadian Croatian Congress, Edmonton branch, presented a $25,000-dollar cheque to Faculty of Arts Dean Lesley Cormack. The money will support the newly established fellowship. Commending the university, the ambassador says her government looks forward to the provost’s visit to Croatia to strengthen the partnership.
“The provost, professor Szabo and dean Cormack all recognize the importance of having, maintaining and growing such an institute here in Alberta,” she said. “This agreement with the U of A is the first channel that will bring us to stronger cooperation in higher education and in sharing our knowledge. We will work to identify areas of expertise that we have common interests,” she said.
Jelena Bulić is the first recipient of the fellowship and Korać says she will be among a long list of other young researchers from Croatia who will come to Canada to learn and share knowledge, and, most importantly, build relationships.
“One of the most important outcomes from the exchange of students is establishing networks. And from those networks we always hope for stronger personal relations, friendships and people-to-people relations,” Korać said. Such is the kinds of relationships that Szabo says the institute has been building with communities in Alberta and that Amrhein say provides necessary support to the university.
“The support of the community is always important to a university. We have ongoing and very generous support from the people of Alberta, a level of support that is becoming increasingly rare in the world of public universities,” Amrhein said. “However, public universities like ours rely on private philanthropy to add that margin of excellence, which allows us to compete effectively around the world with the best kinds of private universities with whom we often compete for faculty, staff and students.”
Szabo says community engagement has been one of the hallmarks in building the Wirth Institute. He says genuine dialogue between the university and the communities is important.
“We’re listening as much as we’re talking with the communities we’re engaged with at the institute. The communities value that and it is one of the reasons that they support us,” Szabo said.
“We engage with the communities in ways that bring the people to the campus and bring the campus to the people. And that’s important to them because they feel that not only do we talk the talk, we walk the walk.”
By Michael Davies-Venn
Zagreb, 10. studenog 2010.
Veleposlanica Republike Hrvatske u Kanadi mr. sc. Vesela Mrđen Korać potpisala je u utorak, 9. studenoga 2010. godine, u Edmontonu, Memorandum o suglasnosti o suradnji u području obrazovanja i znanosti između Ministarstva znanosti, obrazovanja i športa Republike Hrvatske i Ministarstva naprednog obrazovanja i tehnologije kanadske provincije Alberta sa zamjenicom ministra naprednog obrazovanja i tehnologije Annnette Trimbee.
Potpisivanjem ovog Memoranduma otvorila se mogućnost suradnje zainteresiranih sveučilišta i istraživačkih instituta te konkretiziranje suradnje sa Sveučilištem Alberta u Edmontonu. U tom kontekstu, jučer je potpisan i Memorandum o suglasnosti između Ministarstva znanosti obrazovanja i športa i Wirth Instituta Sveučilišta Alberta.
Time je Republika Hrvatska postala punopravna članica nacionalnog instituta za austrijske i srednjoeuropske studije te se pridružila dosadašnjim članicama Austriji, Sloveniji, Mađarskoj, Slovačkoj, Češkoj i Poljskoj u predstavljanju srednjoeuropske povijesti i kulture kanadskoj istraživačkoj i akademskoj zajednici. Prvi hrvatski predstavnik uključit će se u rad Wirth Instituta već od ove akademske godine.
Članstvo Republike Hrvatske u Wirth Institutu u značajnom dijelu pomaže i hrvatska zajednica Edmontona i Kanade čijem su čelništvu uručene zahvalnice Ministarstva znanosti, obrazovanja i športa.
Potpisani memorandumi o suglasnosti s Vladom provincije Alberta te sa Wirth Institutom Sveučilšta Alberta u Edmontonu
EDMONTON, 9. studenog 2010.
Veleposlanica RH u Kanadi mr. sc. Vesela Mrđen Korać je sa zamjenicom ministra naprednog obrazovanja i tehnologije Annnette Trimbee potpisala Mermorandum o suglasnosti između Ministarstva znanosti, obrazovanja i športa RH i Ministarstva naprednog obrazovanja i tehnologije provincije Alberta o suradnji u području obrazovanja i znanosti, kojim se otvorila mogućnost suradnje zainteresiranih sveučilišta i istraživačkih instituta. Taj je memorandum omogućio i konkretiziranje suradnje sa Sveučilištem Alberta u Edmontonu te je istoga dana potpisan i Memorandum o suglasnosti između MZOŠ-a i Wirth Instituta Sveučilišta Alberta čime je Republika Hrvatska postala punopravna članica nacionalnog instituta za austrijske i srednjoeuropske studije. Time se pridružila dosadašnjim članicama Austriji, Sloveniji, Mađarskoj, Slovačkoj, Češkoj i Poljskoj u predstavljanju srednjoeuropske povijesti i kulture kanadskoj istraživačkoj i akademskoj zajednici. Prvi hrvatski predstavnik uključit će se u rad Wirth Instituta već od ove akademske godine.
Članstvo Republike Hrvatske u Wirth Institutu u značajnom dijelu pomaže i hrvatska zajednica Edmontona i Kanade čijem su čelništvu uručene i zahvalnice ministra znanosti, obrazovanja i športa dr. sc. Radovana Fuchsa.