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UNITEC Heads South Of The Border

Following in the footsteps of the trailblazing visit to Latin America by Helen Clark, representatives from UNITEC Institute of Technology will be travelling to five countries south of the US border this week to strengthen ties with other universities there.

The New Zealand government has a clear and effective strategy to develop South American relationships. To support that initiative, UNITEC representatives will visit universities in Mexico, Chile, Peru and Bolivia to lay the groundwork for future cooperation and exchange programmes for staff and students.

Logan Muller from UNITEC's School of Computing and Information Technology will be part of the group and says the focus will be making agreements to collaborate on research and advanced professional education. "Other New Zealand universities have placed their emphasis on agriculture and language teaching in Latin America, but there are gaps in computing, business and innovation - our strengths."

Mr Muller says the trip is UNITEC's most concentrated effort in that part of the world. "There is a lot of interest there in setting up a postgraduate exchange for our Master of Computing programme, and interest in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report is high - especially in Mexico, where there are strong prospects for working together under the APEC umbrella."

The GEM report is a worldwide study of entrepreneurial activity. Academics from UNITEC's Faculty of Business wrote the New Zealand section for 2001 and will follow-up this year. In the 2001 report, New Zealand was ranked as one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world, second only to Mexico.

The UNITEC group heading to Latin America includes CEO Dr John Webster and Jude Lydia, head of UNITEC International. They leave on 8 March for the 10-day trip.

Mr Muller says UNITEC is leading the tertiary sector in forging new partnerships in Latin America. "We are expecting to create links with six universities on this trip and I will be following up with visits to Ecuador and Cuba in June."

UNITEC already offers qualifications well suited to international business and Mr Muller believes it will build a reputation for being the foremost tertiary institute for Latin American-related studies.

"UNITEC is the place to learn about business in the Spanish-speaking world - especially with our conjoint Business and Spanish degree, which is tailored for doing business in Latin American countries."


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