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Deal boosts student numbers

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Deal boosts student numbers

The number of Chinese students studying for a degree at Massey’s Palmerston North campus looks set to increase by more than 600 percent with a new agreement between the College of Business and the People’s Republic of China.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Rolf Cremer says the agreement with NetBig Education Holdings Ltd (Hong Kong) will bring about 500 Chinese students per year into the second year of the BBS. The programme will begin in July this year with a pilot group of 20 to 30 students, expanding to 150 in February 2002 and 500 in February 2003.

The programme aims to keep the students together studying in Palmerston North as much as possible. The Palmerston North campus and the city itself offer an excellent base for international students, with a safe, compact environment and programmes and services already in place, Professor Cremer says. Having them all at one campus will enable better targeted provision of support services and group activities, he says.

He expects resources to expand to cater for the extra students. “We already have the systems in place, and this exercise will enable us to efficiently build our capabilities in the international student arena even further.”

Professor Cremer says the University’s College of Business is the leading business school in New Zealand, and has outstanding expertise and an unrivalled track record in distance education. It has the capacity to expand its core programmes into the international, especially the Greater China and southeast Asian markets.

The Massey-NetBig initiative is the largest single revenue-generating project that has ever been agreed and entered into by the University, Professor Cremer says. The implications are big, but achievable - administratively (in terms of appropriate staffing), academically (the need to be flexible and fast), financially and logistically (the need to look after those students as a group), he says.

Expanding the College’s service into new markets is the best way to increase growth, he says. “I fully expect the initiative will turn out to be the decisive move to increase funding in the College of Business, and will make a significant contribution to the University in the process.”

This week Professor Cremer will host NetBig representatives at Massey’s Albany, Turitea and Wellington campuses. During seven working sessions they will discuss issues about the programme such as admission requirements, cross-crediting, and the logistics involved in the students’ arrival in New Zealand.

NetBig Education Holdings Ltd is one of the fastest growing education enterprises in China, with 250 staff. Its tutoring service subsidiary, ChinaEdu.com, is the market leader, serving more than 250,000 students. NetBig provides on-line degree programmes in co-operation with some of China’s top-ranking universities. One of its strengths is its role as a web-site host, currently being used by more than 85,000 schools in China.

ENDS

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