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Palmerston North’s Educational Opportunities Showcased

Palmerston North’s Educational Opportunities Showcased to Chinese Mayors.

Educational relationships with China were the focus of Mayor Grant Smith’s presentation to the NZ China Mayoral Forum in Wellington today. His over-arching message was career-ready education opportunities in Palmerston North.

Smith led a local education and trade delegation to the forum, which included representatives from UCOL, Massey University and CEDA. He heralded Palmerston North as one of New Zealand’s top student and university cities, with the highest number of PhD’s per capita in the country.

The Council, CEDA and our tertiary educational institutes are collectively promoting Palmerston North to the Chinese as a great place to study, visit or trade and do business in.

“Palmerston North is the home to top-quality education providers and an impressive cluster of world leading science, research and industry organisations, and I wanted to reinforce this to the collective audience,” says Smith.

“The city and our educational institutes, particularly Massey University, UCOL and IPU already have a strong connection with China. We have nearly 4,000 Chinese residents, and approximately another 1,000 Chinese international students or academics in the city each year. It is not uncommon to hear Mandarin spoken in the main streets of Palmerston North.”

The Mayor’s presentation particularly focused on career-ready and entrepreneurial education methods. He highlighted examples including the ‘Work Ready Passport’ recently launched in Palmerston North to assist students with meeting the needs of local employers.

“With applied learning approaches and exposure to real work scenarios, students studying in New Zealand qualify ‘work-ready’, which is very attractive to future employers. Internships in local businesses also form a key part of qualifications at all of our tertiary institutions.”

“We are strong in delivering entrepreneurial education – not surprising given New Zealand’s top ranking in the world for doing business, according to the World Bank. Our entrepreneurial spirit is supported by being an agile country that is a test bed for innovation.”

Other key aspects highlighted were the City’s World Health Organisation’s Safe City accreditation, free public transport for students and the city’s affordability.
NOTE: New Zealand China Mayoral Forum is the second forum and is being held in Wellington on 3-4 December. At the Forum 12 Chinese mayors and vice-mayors from mid and large-sized cities are joined by 38 New Zealand mayors to further strengthen relationships between regions of both countries.

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