26 October 2016 at 9:00 am
Minister Joyce in Chile and Colombia
From 11 to 14 October, Minister Joyce visited Chile, Colombia and Peru following the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Finance Ministers meeting.
During his time in Chile, Minister Joyce attended a Chilean Kiwi alumni reception held at the New Zealand Residence, where he met Chilean students who studied in New Zealand – some who are now currently working with New Zealand companies in Chile. The Undersecretary of Education, Valentina Quiroga, also attended the event, chatting with alumni and the Minister.
ENZ’s Senior Market Development Manager, Javiera Visedo, said that the relaxed and friendly nature of the event meant alumni were comfortable speaking with the Minister – with some even taking selfies with him.
“It was great to see so many young people engaged with Minister Joyce, talking fondly about their time studying in New Zealand. It shows that alumni events are a great opportunity to network and build people-to-people connections.”
From there, Minister Joyce went to Colombia to discuss education with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Patti Londoño. Minister Joyce highlighted that the education relationship between the two countries has strengthened thanks to the establishment of a permanent Education New Zealand presence in Bogota from October 2015, as well as the opening of the Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Latin America, in which Colombia is one of the priority countries.
The Minister also used his Colombia visit to give a guest lecture at the Universidad de los Andes, titled “New Zealand, an innovative economy” and answered questions from audience members interested in studying in New Zealand. The Minister highlighted New Zealand’s innovation and the Kiwi “can do” attitude, using the example of Peter Beck, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year who helped New Zealand launch its first rocket into space.
Javiera Visedo said the Minister’s visit also provided the perfect opportunity to launch four new videos of alumni stories for ‘My New Zealand Story – Chile and Colombia’. The Chilean stories were launched at the Kiwi Alumni reception, while the Colombian stories were launched at an NZ Inc reception.
“The videos were the highlight of each event in Chile and Colombia, as it gave guests a glimpse inside the student experience in New Zealand. I’m really pleased to have launched them during his visit.”