26 November 2014 at 9:00 am

$50,000 sister schools programme launched

Sister school relationships with China will get a boost thanks to a new contestable fund available to New Zealand primary, intermediate and secondary schools.

The fund, announced by Chief Executive Grant McPherson during the 8th New Zealand-China Joint Working Group on Education and Training, aims to support schools’ relationships with Chinese counterparts.

The $50,000 fund will be accessible through a contestable application process for New Zealand schools. It will enable new sister school relationships to be developed and existing relationships to be strengthened.

Cultivating relationships in sister regions and cities between China and New Zealand will be a priority.

“New Zealand and China recognise the important role that language and culture plays in developing globally aware citizens,” ENZ's Regional Director – Greater China Alexandra Grace said.

“The relationships New Zealand primary, intermediate and secondary schools nationwide have with fellow Chinese schools are a valued source of learning opportunities, cross-cultural skills development and friendship between our two countries.”

Since 2005, the total number of students learning Chinese language in New Zealand schools increased five-fold from 4,733 to 22,031, with particularly strong growth at primary and intermediate level.

The number of Chinese international school students studying in New Zealand has also increased, growing by 11 percent in 2013. 

Applications from clusters of schools are encouraged. Further information on the criteria and application process will be published at a later date through E-News. 

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