11 February 2021 at 4:11 pm
NZ-China education relationship strengthened
Education New Zealand hosted the 9th Joint Working Group on Education and Training between New Zealand and China this February, which was held virtually for the first time.
Chief Executive Grant McPherson says the Joint Working Group is a valuable mechanism for maintaining the long-standing education relationship between the countries, which dates back nearly 20 years.
“Joint initiatives including the innovative Tripartite Partnership, bring together our governments, as well as our researchers, educators and students and leverages New Zealand’s research strengths.”
The Secretary for Education, Iona Holsted, co-chaired the Joint Working Group meeting and led the New Zealand Delegation, with ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson and NZQA Chief Executive Dr Grant Klinkum. The Chinese delegation was led by the Vice-Minister of Education, Tian Xuejun.
A key outcome of the meeting was the signing of a Strategic Cooperation Arrangement by the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s (NZQA) Chief Executive, Dr Grant Klinkum, and Director General of the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE), Mr Jiacai Cheng.
Dr Klinkum commented that: “This refreshed agreement reflects the value both organisations place on mutual cooperation regarding the exchange of information and qualification recognition arrangements.”
“As part of our future work together, the two agencies have agreed to establish a working group to better understand the opportunities and challenges related to recognising online qualifications.”
Universities New Zealand representative Rebecca Needham said the Joint Working Group meeting was a timely reminder of the breadth of initiatives that continue to strengthen New Zealand's education links with China during a time of limited international mobility.
“The meeting was a valuable opportunity to undertake some deeper thinking about areas of longer-term cooperation, while continuing to celebrate the Chinese Scholarship Council students who are able to continue their study in New Zealand following the recent PhD border exceptions,” Needham said.
Chair of the International Working Group for Te Pūkenga, Tony Gray, said he was pleased to see the “genuine enthusiasm” at the Joint Working Group meeting to further develop tertiary education partnerships.
“There are many potential opportunities to collaborate with China as it implements its 2019 National Implementation Plan for Vocational Education Reform. There is real interest [from China] in understanding New Zealand's key vocational education and applied higher education practices and pedagogy,” Gray said.
“The Joint Working Group between China and New Zealand highlights the strength of our strategic education partnership and provides further impetus for key projects that are mutually beneficial,” ENZ Director – Greater China, Miranda Herbert, says. “It is pleasing to see that we’re both heading in the same direction with our internationalisation goals.”