28 March 2018
From Hanoi to Hamilton – Vietnamese PM visits New Zealand
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s visit earlier this month saw the signing of a refreshed agreement with New Zealand, and stronger ties between Viet Nam and New Zealand’s tertiary education sectors.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his delegation (including media) visited New Zealand from 12 to 14 March.
Education featured prominently during the visit, with the highlight being a refreshed Strategic Engagement Plan on Education signed by the Vietnamese Vice-Minister of Education, Assoc. Pro. Dr Nguyen Van Phuc and John Goulter, ENZ General Manager Stakeholders and Communications. The signing was witnessed by Prime Minister Phuc and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who both endorsed the plan’s target to increase Vietnamese students studying in New Zealand by 30 per cent by 2020.
The engagement plan on education was first signed in 2015 during former Prime Minister John Key’s visit to Viet Nam and was up for renewal this year.
John Goulter said the agreement positions education as a cornerstone of both countries’ bilateral relationship.
“The plan shifts the New Zealand–Viet Nam education relationship to the strategic level by focusing on activities that are of mutual benefit and captures the full range of activities in the education relationship.”
AUT held a Vietnamese community event during the visit and, as part of a business forum in Auckland, signed two agreements with Viet Nam National University Ho Chi Minh City (VNU HCMC) and with Hanoi University (HANU).
At the University of Waikato, Prime Minister Phuc spoke to students and university staff about the importance of education in the Viet Nam-New Zealand relationship, alongside Professor Neil Quigley, Vice Chancellor University of Waikato, and Charles Finny, ENZ Chairman.
The University of Waikato signed agreements with Vietnamese partners Viet Nam Social Security, VNU HCMC, HANU and Hanoi University of Science.
The visit received significant coverage in the Vietnamese media.