14 March 2024 at 10:30 am

Successful New Zealand – India Education Connect Initiative held in India

To enhance the profile of New Zealand education and foster deeper bilateral ties with India, Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) led the "New Zealand – India Education Connect" initiative last month. 

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The New Zealand delegation was joined by NZ High Commissioner to India, HE Mr David Pine, at IIT Delhi.

New Zealand – India Education Connect took place from 8 to 14 February, involving a high-level sector delegation made up of Vice Chancellors, Deputy Vice Chancellors, International Directors, academic heads, and regional recruitment staff from all eight New Zealand universities.  

Led by Lisa Futschek, ENZ’s General Manager International, the delegation visited Bengaluru, Chennai, New Delhi, and Ahmedabad. During the visit, ENZ signed two Education Cooperation Arrangements (ECAs) and one Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the Higher Education Department, Government of Karnataka; Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA); and Gujarat International Finance Tech City (GIFT City) respectively. The ECAs and MoU provide a high-level umbrella arrangement for New Zealand universities to explore potential collaborations with each of the partners. 

The New Zealand delegation with IIM Ahmedabad officials on 14 February.

New Zealand universities delegation with Hon Dr. M C Sudhakar, Minister, Karnataka Higher Education Minister and officials of Karnataka Higher Education Council, Bengaluru on 8 February

Ms Futschek acknowledged the special relationship India and New Zealand have, noting that this year marks the 72nd anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.  

“India consistently holds the position of the second-largest international student market for New Zealand. The dynamic growth in the education partnerships between our two countries is attributed to strategic investments by universities, marked by heightened levels of internationalisation and strengthened commitments through the establishment of in-country representatives/offices by all eight. 

“There is certainly much to be said for having power in numbers. Engaging as a group is a very good way to leverage connections with key government and private stakeholders that would otherwise be difficult on an individual institution basis, said Ms Futschek. 

The delegation visit to the New Zealand Centre at IIT Delhi (IITD) was one of the highlights of the programme as it facilitated discussions on resource mobilisation for long-term sustainability of the centre. The New Zealand Centre at IITD was established in February 2020 as a focal point for joint academic activity between New Zealand's eight universities and IITD.  The centre is a research-focused hub that fosters collaborative, sustainable, self-supporting research programmes in areas of shared national interest such as climate change, disaster management, urban planning, and the environment. The first big engagement at the New Zealand Centre included 10 joint research projects between NZ universities and IITD academics in 2022. Subsequently, a fellowship programme with a joint funding of NZ$ 100,000 was announced in 2023, and as part of this programme four New Zealand Fellows will be spending time working with IITD in 2023/24 and two IITD Fellows with New Zealand universities.  

Ms Futschek noted that the New Zealand Centre at IITD is a great example of how the cohesion between our eight universities and IITD has led to a flagship project growing in scale and sustainably. 

“This success has all happened while building our reputation for quality education and a commitment to bilateral relations between our two countries,” added Ms Futschek.  

The networking reception organised by ENZ in Delhi during the ENZ Connect series, was attended by a group of 24 students from University of Auckland, University of Waikato, Massey University and Victoria University of Wellington, who were in India as part of the PMSA India immersion programme. They not only engaged with the ‘friends of NZ’ attendee, but also performed a Bollywood dance they had learnt during their six weeks in India, much to the delight of the audience.

Other activities conducted during the week included a media roundtable, led by H.E. Ambassador David Pine at the New Zealand High Commission in New Delhi. The roundtable reached over 984 million people with a PR value of over NZD 624,000, further increasing the brand awareness of New Zealand’s world class education across India.    

Media Roundtable at New Zealand High Commission in New Dehi, led by NZ High Commissioner to India, HE Mr David Pine, Lisa Futschek, GM International, ENZ and Brett Berquist, Assistant Vice-Chancellor Engagement University of Canterbury.

New Zealand universities also had a strong presence at QS India summit 2024, which coincided with the New Zealand – India Education Connect, helping delegates reflect their interest and achieve visibility in the Indian B2B space. ENZ was invited by QS to be a strategic partner at this summit. 

The delegation at the QS India Summit 2024.

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