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German-NZ Academic Links Agreement Signed

German-NZ Academic Links Agreement Signed

An academic links agreement between the peak bodies of the German and New Zealand university systems – the Hochschulrektorenkonferenz (HRK - German Rectors’ Conference) and the NZ Vice-Chancellors’ Committee (NZVCC) – was signed this week.

HRK President Professor Margret Wintermantel and Professor Roger Field, Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor and chair of the NZVCC Committee on University Academic Programmes, formalised the agreement at the HRK offices in Berlin.

The agreement is essentially a framework which provides and encourages greater bilateral co-operation between universities in each country. It promotes exchange in research, scholarship and teaching.

Undergraduate student exchange and graduate placement are furthered by a set of recognition standards. Likewise, research collaboration, research staff exchange, symposia participation and co-operation on the basis of electronic networks, publications and teaching materials will be facilitated by the agreement.

Professor Field said all eight New Zealand universities had maintained links with German institutions and there was a long history of academic co-operation between the two counties. Close to a thousand German students were currently studying in New Zealand universities, about half of them at postgraduate level.

“This new agreement should further serve to raise the quality of scholarship in universities in each country. Research collaboration will be mutually beneficial to both economies involved,” Professor Field said.

Professor Wintermantel emphasized that German and New Zealand university rectors and presidents shared many common concerns, such as enlarging institutional capacities to accommodate a broader participation in higher education; pursuing consistent strategies to ensure quality in higher education; linking both study and research to the needs of the knowledge society and generating pertinent knowledge by research; ensuring sustainable financing for higher education and institutional autonomy; and meeting the imperatives of globalisation.

Ends

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