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Shanghai Visit Continues to Bear Fruit

Shanghai Visit Continues to Bear Fruit

Dunedin, 7 February 2014 – The first group of Shanghai scholarship students arrive in Dunedin next week, following an invitation from Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull during his visit to the Chinese city in April last year.

Ten students and a teacher will arrive in Dunedin on 13 February for a two-week programme, which was established following an invitation from Mr Cull to the Mayor of Shanghai, Yang Xiong.

Dunedin City Council Business Development Advisor Margo Reid says the students come from three Shanghai tertiary institutions which have relationships with either the University of Otago or the Otago Polytechnic.

Mr Cull says the programme, which fits with the city’s Project Shanghai initiative, will bring several benefits. It reciprocates Shanghai programmes attended by Dunedin tertiary students, which have been greatly enjoyed.

“There are also excellent opportunities for the cross-fertilisation of ideas from our respective cities. The programme may also lead to heightened interest from Shanghai students in attending Dunedin educational institutions.”

Ms Reid says the students will attend English language classes in the morning. They will spend the afternoons visiting places of interest around the city and joining companies for work experience related to their areas of study in Shanghai.

Otago Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive John Christie says it is exciting to see these initiatives coming to fruition.

“This programme is one of the tangible and mutual benefits to flow from the visits and closer ties between Shanghai and Dunedin.”

Ms Reid says the scholarship programme was very popular. The Shanghai Education Commission, which organised the participating students, advised there were more applications than places available, leading to a selection process.

All students are paying for their return air travel to Dunedin, but once on the ground all costs will be met during their two-week stay. The programme is being sponsored by ANZ bank, the DCC is providing $10,000 and the University and the Polytechnic are providing some free services.

ANZ's Otago Regional Manager, Commercial & Agri, Alan Dickie says, “This is a fantastic opportunity for local students to learn more about their peers in our Chinese sister city. Making connections and discovering different cultures is an important part of education. As a bank that prides itself on connecting Kiwis to opportunities in Asia and beyond, ANZ is pleased to support the growing ties between Shanghai and Dunedin.”

A second group of students, from secondary schools in Shanghai, will visit Dunedin in March as the second part of the scholarship programme.

ENDS

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