26 October 2016
Universities New Zealand to strengthen ties with India
Stronger ties between New Zealand and India at the university level are a key outcome of the Prime Minister John Key’s visit to India currently underway.
Universities New Zealand (UNZ) has made two announcements: development of an engagement strategy to strengthen relationships with India and attract more university students to New Zealand; and a Strategic Education Partnership Agreement with the Maharashtra State Government.
Professor Harlene Hayne, Chair of Universities New Zealand and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago, says, “Currently, students from India make up five per cent of the 26,000 international students who are studying at a New Zealand university.
“We recognise there is significant potential to attract and welcome increasing numbers of university-level students from India.”
The strategy builds on an increasing university market presence in India, with student visas for first-time university students from India up 18 per cent through to August 2016. Professor Hayne says the UNZ India Strategy, which will be formally launched in early 2017, will see New Zealand’s universities working collectively to promote study in New Zealand, and to further develop and strengthen partnerships between institutions in India and New Zealand.
UNZ and ENZ are co-sponsoring the strategy. ENZ Chief Executive, Grant McPherson, says, “We are delighted to partner with our universities in India, and applaud their leadership in investing in the long-term future of this hugely important market.”
The Strategic Education Partnership Agreement with Maharashtra State Government provides a framework to explore academic opportunities between the two countries, added Professor Haynes.
Maharashtra State Government in Western India is the second most populous state in India with over 112 million inhabitants. Its capital, Mumbai, has a population of approximately 18 million. Maharashtra has 24 universities with a turnout of 160,000 graduates every year, while New Zealand has eight universities and 43,000 graduates each year.
“This strategic agreement offers us an avenue to build institutional engagement between our universities, through faculty relationships and exchanges, research and innovation collaboration, and information sharing.”