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Victoria University expertise to benefit the NZDF

Line of Defence Magazine, Summer 2017/18

Victoria's Head of the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations Professor Sekhar Bandyopadhyay signs the NZDF Academic Services Contract, with Brigadier Roger Margetts and LTCOL Richard Taylor (far right) looking on.Victoria's Head of the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations Professor Sekhar Bandyopadhyay signs the NZDF Academic Services Contract, with Brigadier Roger Margetts and LTCOL Richard Taylor (far right) looking on.


A new partnership between Victoria University of Wellington and the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will see the university’s lecturers assisting the development of the country’s military leaders.


Victoria’s Centre for Strategic Studies has won a major academic contract to teach its Master of Strategic Studies to officers from the NZDF’s Advanced Command and Staff Course (ACSC), the NZDF’s premier in-house development programme.

The ACSC provides professional military education for mid-ranked NZDF officers and a range of Asia-Pacific defence forces, who have been identified as having potential for higher level service.

Commandant Lieutenant Colonel Richard Taylor, of the Command and Staff Course, has welcomed the partnership. “I am excited that the Master of Strategic Studies is to become an integral part of the ACSC,” he said. “Victoria University has supported the ACSC for many years and we now have a wonderful opportunity to build on that relationship. Our students consistently value the expertise and professionalism of Victoria’s teaching staff.”

LTCOL Taylor said the NZDF will be looking for further engagement opportunities with Victoria in the future.

Victoria University’s Centre for Strategic Studies focuses on national security and defence issues, conflict resolution, arms control and disarmament. It also examines the strategic implications of political and economic change in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2017, it was ranked as the #2 best think tank in Southeast Asia, Australasia and the Pacific in the University of Pennsylvania’s annual Global Think Tank Rankings.

CSS Director, Associate Professor David Capie, said the partnership is a fantastic opportunity for Victoria to engage in conversations with NZDF professionals about the rapidly changing global security environment.


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“The collaboration will let us increase the number of people we have looking at strategic and security issues in New Zealand and enable us to interact with the NZDF’s future leaders, as well as international students from around the Asia-Pacific,” he said.

"Key courses taught in the Victoria Master of Strategic Studies include a core paper taught by Professor Robert Ayson, and a range of electives including 'Strategic Asia', 'New Zealand defence and security policy', Command, Leadership and Management, and a research component."

"At CSS we're committed to excellence in teaching and research and we are excited to be working with the College to deliver a world-class Masters degree to the NZDF's future leaders and international students from around the region."

“Victoria has worked closely with the NZDF on a range of programmes in the past and we now look forward to an even closer relationship in the future.”

The CSS hosts seminars and fosters discussion on international security and security of New Zealand. It supports research on security issues and provides a forum for academic and other experts to interact with Government policy advisors, and it annually hosts a distinguished international expert on security issues, the Sir Howard Kippenberger Visiting Chair in Strategic Studies.

CSS staff are actively engaged with Track II discussions within the Asia Pacific region. Senior Fellows and Fellows of the Centre are active in research and in promoting public awareness of security issues. The Centre also manages the activities of CSCAP-NZ, the group of security experts from around New Zealand who participate in the leading regional Track II organisation, the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP).


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