New Zealand's university sector is strengthening ties with India in an attempt to attract more university students to New Zealand.
Universities New Zealand has announced the development of an engagement strategy to strengthen relationships with India during a delegation to India led by Prime Minister John Key. The strategy is scheduled to be formally launched early next year.
Currently, students from India make up five per cent of the 26,000 international students who are studying at a New Zealand university. Numbers are increasing, with student visas for first-time university students from India up 18 per cent through to August 2016.
Professor Harlene Hayne, Chair of Universities New Zealand and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Otago, says there is potential to increase this number.
“New Zealand is a world-class destination for university study, with all eight universities ranked within the top three per cent world-wide. In addition, a recent global survey of students studying abroad found that 93 per cent of international students chose to study in New Zealand because of the reputation of our universities," she says.
Universities New Zealand is working on the strategy with, Education New Zealand, the Government promotion agency for the New Zealand education sector.
“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,” says Education New Zealand's chief executive, Grant McPherson.
Education New Zealand has recently announced a number of initiatives to support New Zealand higher education institutions in India during 2017 including the 2017 New Zealand Excellence Awards, which will provide partial scholarships to more than 30 students studying at New Zealand universities. There will also be a 'dragon's den' type competition to provide internship opportunities in New Zealand and a 2017 Academic Lecture series, which will provide support for New Zealand academics to forge academic linkages with prestigious Indian universities and Indian Institutes of Technology.
“These combined initiatives will lay the platform for New Zealand to continue growing the high-value segments of the Indian market, as well as the connections between our two countries” added McPherson.