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Spanish Universities say “Sí” to Otago

10 June 2005
Spanish Universities say “Sí” to Otago

Five Spanish universities are joining with the University of Otago in a range of exchange opportunities between the two countries.

The University of Otago’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Humanities, Professor Alistair Fox, recently returned from Spain with agreement from five Spanish Universities for exchange arrangements with the University of Otago.

These are the first formal agreements to be signed by these universities with any New Zealand university, and will greatly benefit students and staff in both countries.

Agreements range from student exchange agreements, to fostering collaboration between Otago and Spanish researchers and academic staff, including staff exchanges.

“We are very excited about the opportunities contact with these universities will provide for our staff and students,” Professor Fox says.

“Although many of the arrangements are initially for our Spanish Honours students to study in Spain, it is clear that further collaboration between Otago and these Universities will develop as a result of these agreements. Postgraduate students from Spain will now be able to come to Otago for Masters and PhD study.”

Professor Fox encountered great enthusiasm in Spain for New Zealand.

“The Otago mission was very timely given the intense interest in New Zealand we encountered everywhere we went. This has been generated by a number of things - movies like The Lord of the Rings, New Zealand's prominence in the America's Cup, and a desire to find alternatives to the United States and Britain as a destination for exchange and postgraduate students. Also, the quality of New Zealand universities is perceived as being very high.”

The Spanish programme at Otago is one of the largest in New Zealand and has grown rapidly from its inception only four years ago. In 2005 there were nearly 800 enrolments in Spanish papers at Otago. Professor Fox says the latest initiatives are a response to the rapid growth and strength of the programme at Otago.

The Universities with which Memoranda of Understanding will be signed are Universidad de Alcalá, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Universidad de Córdoba, Universidad de Granada and Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


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