1 December 2016 at 9:00 am

Iran trade visit seals breakthrough deal for New Zealand universities

Education New Zealand (ENZ) and three universities were part of a landmark visit to Iran from 2-4 December, as Trade Minister Todd McClay led the largest trade delegation to visit the country in more than 20 years. 

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The New Zealand business delegation at the white and green palaces in Tehran

The visit secured several major education outcomes, including a ministerial announcement that the University of Canterbury, Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University would be reclassified as ‘excellent’ by the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. These universities will join the University of Auckland and University of Otago, who have already been given the top ranking. These classifications play a significant role in guiding Iranian students in choosing where to study abroad. All of New Zealand’s universities are now classified in the top two categories. 

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Above: signing the Education Cooperation Agreement

A higher education co-operation agreement was also signed between Ministers, which provides a platform for increased academic and research co-operation between the two countries.

ENZ arranged several university recruitment events as part of the visit programme. Some 80 per cent of Iranian students in New Zealand are studying at PhD level. ENZ Chair Charles Finny, who led the education delegates on the visit, said this is a key area to build on.

“These initiatives will significantly boost our universities’ recruitment of Iranian students, particularly at the PhD level,” said Mr Finny.

“I look forward to New Zealand universities making the most of this opportunity in the coming years, and commend the University of Auckland, University of Canterbury and Auckland University of Technology for participating in this ground-breaking visit.”

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