Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi has forged strong connections with a growing number of indigenous communities around the world. These include:
University communities in India
Following informal talks in Whakatāne in 2012, Professor A.N. Rai, Vice-Chancellor of North Eastern Hill University in the state of Meghalaya, and Professor Surabhi Banerjee, Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Orissa in Koraput, expressed interest in developing a working relationship between Awanuiārangi and tribal universities in India.
The talks followed several visits by Awanuiārangi academics to India, and New Zealand government initiatives to further political, economic, trade and cultural links between the two countries.
Professor Rai said India had embarked on a major reform programme across all levels of education. “This creates numerous opportunities for collaboration with organisations outside of India which have similar interests – to study together, to help each other, to share resources.”
Sámi communities in northern Europe
An indigenous tertiary institution in northern Norway formalised its intention to work closely with Awanuiārangi with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in Whakatāne in 2012. Dr Jelena Porsanger, the head of Sámi University College in Guovdageaidnu, Norway, said the intention was to work with Awanuiārangi in indigenous development, both for their own people and for indigenous groups internationally.
Sámi University College is funded by the Norwegian government to provide higher education for the minority Sámi people, and to undertake research into their issues. Several academic exchanges have already taken place, including a year-long research visit by Sámi University College’s Professor Nils Helander and Associate Professor Kaisa Rautio-Helander, who were hosted in Whakatāne by Awanuiārangi.