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British Science Minister visits Monash

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The UK Minister for Universities and Science, Mr David Willetts MP, will experience first hand the world-leading, room-sized, virtual-reality environment that is CAVE2 when he visits Monash University.

Mr Willetts is visiting Monash for discussions with senior academic staff on current and future research directions that are being pursued by the University.

The University will also take advantage of the visit to update Mr Willetts on developments with the Monash Warwick Alliance. The Alliance, formed in 2012 between Monash and the UK’s University of Warwick, is helping meet the increasing demand for graduates with a global education. Research generated by the Alliance aims to address world-relevant problems that have in the past proved too big for any one institution to tackle.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ed Byrne AC said Mr Willetts’ visit afforded the opportunity to showcase both the innovative research being undertaken at the University, and the productive collaborations in which it is a partner.

“Monash prides itself on the quality of its research and the development of the next generation of research leaders,” Professor Byrne said.

“The Minister’s visit will allow us to discuss exciting developments such as CAVE2 – the University’s next-generation, immersive hybrid 2D and 3D virtual reality environment, the recently opened Australia-Indonesia Centre, and the successful Monash Warwick Alliance.”

Mr Willetts, who is in Australia to attend the Higher Education Conference 2014 in Canberra, will be given a guided tour of the New Horizons Centre, including CAVE2, before presentations by Professor Paul Bonnington, Director of the eResearch Centre, and Professor Paul Ramadge, Director of the Australia-Indonesia Centre.

Academic Vice-President (Monash Warwick Alliance) Professor Andrew Coats will provide Mr Willets with an update on plans for the Alliance and discuss the impact it is already having on research.

“The Alliance has allowed the two universities to present strong, innovative proposals and solutions to government, industry, research funders and donors,” Professor Coats said.

“It is the new model for higher education, providing a challenging and innovative environment for staff and students to redefine what universities can do to globalise their influence.”

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