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NZ Universities sign agreement with Taiwan

Universities New Zealand-Te Pokai Tara and the Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET) have signed an Arrangement of Academic Cooperation. The Arrangement establishes a formal relationship between Universities NZ and FICHET, the two organisations that represent New Zealand and Taiwan’s respective universities.

It provides a foundation for establishing stronger linkages and identifying specific areas for student and academic exchange and research cooperation.

The signing of today’s agreement comes at the conclusion of a visit by university senior staff, including three Vice-Chancellors, making it the highest level New Zealand university delegation ever to visit Taiwan.

he delegation has met with Taiwanese officials, university presidents, leading scientists and prominent alumni of New Zealand universities. The week-long itinerary has included visits to some of Taiwan’s top universities, research institutes, business incubators and others involved in the commercialisation of research.

The New Zealand Government’s Leadership Statement for international education, released in September 2011, announced the ambitious target of doubling the economic value of international education over the next 15 years. Visits like this one and agreements like the one signed today will help the universities contribute to these efforts.

“For our universities, this means more than simply increasing the one-way traffic of international students to New Zealand. While international students are important in terms of the income they generate and their contributions to campus culture, economic value also comes from the boost that international educational exchange and collaboration provides to our departmental, research and commercialisation capabilities,” says Universities NZ Chair Pat Walsh.

“Through our delegation’s visit and the Academic Cooperation Arrangement between Universities NZ and FICHET, we hope to increase the depth and breadth of our universities’ international activities with Taiwan. This includes the exchange of students, academics and researchers, as well as research and commercialisation partnerships, agreements and collaborations,” adds Professor Walsh.

In 2011, there were 274 students from Taiwan studying at New Zealand universities. Six universities have formal agreements with Taiwanese universities and there are many, less formal, collaborations between individual staff and on the departmental level.

Taiwan is New Zealand’s eighth largest export market, a significant source of imports, an important tourism market and essential source of investment. There are also strong cultural links between New Zealand and Taiwan.

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