MOU signed with University of the Arts Helsinki

13 October 2015

The National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries is celebrating the signing of an important memorandum of understanding which opens up opportunities for both staff and students. In August, Professor Diane Brand, Dean of NICAI, the Heads of Schools - Associate Professors Ralph Buck (Dance Studies) and Allan Badley (Music), Dr Peter Shand (Elam School of Fine Arts) and Dr Elizabeth Aitken Rose (Architecture and Planning) - along with Dr Te Oti Rakena, Associate Dean Māori and Pacific, traveled to Finland to sign the agreement.

The connection with the University of the Arts Helsinki was first established through the Dance Studies programme by Associate Professor Ralph Buck and coordinated by Dr Rose Martin. Whilst visiting the  University of the Arts Helsinki, the NICAI group toured Sibelius Music Academy, Fine Arts Academy and Theatre Academy (Dance and Theatre), and were able to provide insight into the respective Schools within NICAI. Says Ralph, "That sharing of information and establishing of research pedagogy was a key moment in our day. It was clear that there was considerable scope for cooperation and collaboration."

With the agreement signed, the initial resulting actions include a collaborative arts education research project, developing a community music education project and staff exchange. With Helsinki having hosted both Rose and Ralph in 2015, NICAI will host Professor Eeva Antilla, a world renowned dance education researcher.

This is the first MOU the University of Auckland has signed with a Finnish institution, and the first ever agreement signed by the University of the Arts Helsinki. The aim of the agreement is to link common areas and interests between the two institutions, opening up research collaboration and postgraduate student exchange.