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China and New Zealand sign education agreement

China and New Zealand sign education agreement

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for co-operation in education between the Chinese and New Zealand Ministries of Education.

Following initial discussions in Beijing in May this year, Mr Wang Zhan, the Chinese Vice Minister of Education and Howard Fancy, Secretary for Education signed the MoU at the Beehive this afternoon.

The MoU formalises regular communication between education officials from China and New Zealand. Annual working group meetings will provide a mechanism for consultation and discussion around policy developments and particular issues, including the matter of foreign fee paying students in New Zealand.

“I believe the joint working group will provide a valuable forum for communication and discussion. This is the first time a China – New Zealand education working group has been established and it represents a positive step forward for the bilateral relationship,” said Trevor Mallard.

A working group meeting was held this morning at the Ministry of Education, prior to the signing of the MoU.

The MoU replaces ‘Arrangements’ that were agreed between China and New Zealand in 1994 and covered co-operation in education and research, including visits to China by New Zealand experts and the introduction of Modern Standard Chinese (Mandarin) in the curriculum.

The MoU signed today continues to cover the appointment of a Chinese Language Advisor to provide guidance and support to New Zealand teachers of Chinese in the school curriculum, scholarships for short-term training for New Zealand Chinese language teachers, and up to 10 positions for New Zealand students to study in China on the Chinese Ministry of Education Scholarship Programme.

Following the signing of the MoU, Mr Wang and his delegation of officials will travel to Auckland where they will visit Auckland Grammar and UNITEC, before returning to China.

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