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Port-Vila, Vanuatu – 12 May 2023: The National University of Vanuatu (NUV) has appointed the first Director of its Language Centre to strengthen the institution’s languages framework and support the priorities of Vanuatu National Human Resource Development Plan 2020-2030 (NHRDP). 

Dr. Leslie Vandeputte brings with her sound experience and expertise in anthropology, linguistics, didactics and sociolinguists to the NUV. She has a Ph. D in Social Anthropology and 8 years of fieldwork experience in United Arab Emirates, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The appointment of Dr. Vandeputte will contribute to the development of the NUV and its Language Centre that is tasked to prescribe university language standards for teaching, learning and working using official languages of the country, promoting multilingualism which defines Vanuatu’s unique identity and further research for development and teaching of vernacular languages, in association with existing institutions and the NUV’s School of Education for teaching training.

Dr. Vandeputte said “I am proud to join the NUV and be part of this great and exciting adventure of developing a national university and its Language Centre that will ensure the good promotion of quality language teaching and learning, provide access to higher education to all Ni-Vanuatu regardless of their educational and linguistic backgrounds. I believe Vanuatu has a unique and leading role to play within the Asia-Pacific region when it comes to using multi-languages for advanced education”.

Developing research and promoting all languages spoken in Vanuatu is a challenge that I find particularly interesting”, she added.

As first task of her mandate, Dr Vandeputte has finalized the NUV language policy as well as the Strategic Plan for the Language Centre which are going to be presented for approval of the Members of the governing bodies of the University in the next few weeks.

The Vice-Chancellor of the NUV, Mr. Jean-Pierre Nirua, said “The National University of Vanuatu is delighted to have Dr. Vandeputte joining our team. Her expertise in linguistics and culture are a great asset for the university. In addition, she has both international and local experiences. She will be able to understand students’ needs and challenges to better equip them with key resources. She will also contribute to develop the NUV’s research in anthropology, culture, languages and sociology. NUV’s team and students are wishing a warm welcome to Dr. Vandeputte!”.

The development of NUV is aligned with the Vanuatu People’s Plan and the Vanuatu Education and Training Sector Strategic Plan. The focus of education and training under NUV and associated institutions are based on the priorities of the country’s National Human Resource Development Plan 2020-2030 (NHRDP).