UQ and the Pacific

From good neighbours to strategic partners

As our closest international neighbours, UQ and the diverse countries of the Pacific share longstanding relationships. With an emphasis on medicine, health, science and international development, we are working together to strengthen economic , governance, health and social systems throughout the Pacific. One of the world’s most biodiverse regions, our collaborative efforts also contribute to understanding and protecting the oceans, crops and animals that its communities rely on.

Fast facts

Excludes Australia.


Students from the Pacific enrolled at UQ


Pacific-UQ co-publications


academic staff born in the Pacific


research project collaborations


alumni in the Pacific


agreements with 6 official partners

Fast facts show full year 2022 data. 

Collaboration in action

  • Across more than 40 years as an archaeologist, UQ's Professor Marshall Weisler has spent much of his life in some of the world's most fascinating and untouched corners – isolated villages, an uninhabited island, and communities across Polynesia, Micronesia, Hawaii and New Zealand – all in the name of discovering what makes us human.
  • A study led by UQ in collaboration with Opération Cétacés from New Caledonia has found humpack whales can learn incredibly complex songs from whales from other regions.
  • Pacific Islanders are experiencing, firsthand, the impacts of climate change, including sea-level rises, changing temperatures and increased rainfall patterns. In response, communities in the region are leading climate adaption strategies to build the resilience of their ecosystems in the face of increasing risk.
  • Women are largely being excluded from decisions about conservation and natural resources, with potentially detrimental effects on conservation efforts globally.
  • MD-PhD candidate Rosie Stoke has won The University of Queensland’s 2021 Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition and will go on to represent UQ in the Asia-Pacific 3MT Competition next month.
  • A whopping 191 different bat species live in the Pacific Islands across Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia — but these are, collectively, the most imperilled in the world. In fact, five of the nine bat species that have gone extinct in the last 160 years have come from this region.



UQ has more than 2,080 alumni in the Pacific (excluding Australia). Alumni with strong links to the region include:

Papua New Guinea

Minister for Finance and Rural Development, Papua New Guinea (Bachelor of Economics, 1989)
Papua New Guinea

Former High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea (Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science 1974) (Served in PNG from 2 December 2005 to 25 February 2020).

President of Kiribati (Master of Economic Studies 2002)

Legal scholar and Executive Director of the Samoa Law Reform Commission (PhD, 2013)
Solomon Islands

Deputy Director-General at Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, Solomon Islands (Bachelor of Applied Science 1998). Moved back to Australia in April 2019 as the new CEO of the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) for the next five years.

Leader of the National Federation Party, Shadow Minister for Finance, Planning and National Statistics, Fiji (PhD 1998)
Papua New Guinea

Director of the Papua New Guinea National Research Institute (PhD Applied Economics 2013)
Papua New Guinea

Former Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Papua New Guinea (Masters of Agribusiness 2002)

Commissioner of Police & Superintendent of Prison at Kiribati Police and Prison Service (Master of Philosophy 2004)
Papua New Guinea

Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative, Papua New Guinea (Bachelor of Arts 1989)

Summer and Winter Olympian for Taekwondo and cross-country skiing representing Tonga (Bachelor of Engineering 2007)

350 Pacific Brisbane Assistant Coordinator. Former President of UQ South Pacific Islander Association (Bachelor of Science – Biomedical Science 2019).