University of New Brunswick President Eddy Campbell will visit Bhutan this week to build on the long and trusted relationship that has developed between the university and the small Buddhist Kingdom.
The bond between Canada and Bhutan goes back more than four decades, when Canadian Jesuit William Mackey went to Bhutan to establish a secular secondary school system at the request of the Royal Government.
Since then, more than 100 Bhutanese have completed a degree in areas such as engineering, computer science, and education, with a focus on English, social studies, science and mathematics. In addition, more than 65 Bhutanese teachers and educators have come to UNB to further their education.
UNB has fulfilled three, 5-year contribution agreements with the Canadian International Development Agency to assist in strengthening the education system and improving the quality of education in Bhutan.
Although the UNB/Bhutan project officially ended in 2009, the strong relationship between the two countries and their educators persists, and UNB continues to welcome Bhutanese students.
Today, Bhutan’s education system penetrates deep into the most inaccessible parts of the nation and is noted to be one of the best in South Asia. The impact of the UNB/Bhutan Project on its development through crucial periods of change and growth has been considerable.
UNB graduates are deployed in positions of responsibility throughout the country, and are having a substantial influence on shaping and improving education in schools and in a range of institutions. Many are employed with the Ministry of Education where they have direct impact on the education system. Two UNB graduates now represent Bhutan’s people in the recently established democratic government.
Dr. Campbell will be in Bhutan from Friday, Nov. 12, to Sunday, Nov. 14. As part of his visit, Dr. Campbell will meet with local officials and UNB alumni, and sign two new memorandums of understanding with Bhutan, building further on existing bonds.
The first MOU will be signed between the Faculty of Engineering and Druk Power, the second between the Faculty of Education and the Royal Education Council of Bhutan. He will also attend a dinner and reception for alumni at which he will present a degree to Bhutan’s first UNB Ph.D. recipient, Andu Dukpa, who is receiving a Ph.D. in Engineering.
This will be Dr. Campbell’s first visit to Bhutan and he looks forward to seeing first-hand the far-reaching benefits of the UNB/Bhutan project.
“I am proud that the University of New Brunswick has played such an important role in helping to develop the education system in Bhutan,” said Campbell.
“International relationships and partnerships are a bedrock foundation of what we stand for at UNB and the Bhutanese program is near and dear to us, as the university has a long-standing and close affiliation with both the country and its people.”
Dr. H E A (Eddy) Campbell is the 18th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick. A professor of mathematics, Dr. Campbell holds two degrees from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He held a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Postdoctoral Fellowship at The University of Western Ontario and has extensive experience in university administration, having served as President and Vice-Chancellor (Acting) and Vice-President (Academic) at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland.