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Education counsellor for Brussels announced

Education counsellor for Brussels announced

New Zealand’s third offshore education counsellor will be located in Brussels, in order to help build links with European educators and policy leaders, Education Minister Trevor Mallard announced today.

“Brussels has been selected due to the importance of the European Union to New Zealand’s research and education interests,” Trevor Mallard said.

“The education counsellor positions were introduced as part of the government's Budget 2004 $40 million investment in our multi-billion dollar export education industry. That package also provided funding for international scholarships, promotion of New Zealand education, and innovation in export education.”

Education counsellors are responsible for developing bilateral international education partnerships with the key country or region in which they are based. The first counsellor was appointed to Beijing in August 2004. A second counsellor will be appointed to Washington in July this year.

“The Brussels-based counsellor will be responsible for developing education relationships with the European Union and will work in tandem with New Zealand’s recently-appointed science counsellor.

“The focus on the European Union reflects the growing importance of the European Union and European Commission as the centre for discussion and policy making in Europe around qualifications, quality assurance, student mobility and programme development.

“The counsellor will work to build the reputation of New Zealand education with Europe’s education centres of excellence and support institution-to-institution relationships between top quality European and New Zealand tertiary providers.

“We are also interested in deepening cooperation in Europe around student exchanges. In 2004 a pilot programme for postgraduate student exchange between New Zealand and the European Union was launched, enabling at least 24 students each from New Zealand and Europe to study at participating institutions from 2005,” Trevor Mallard said.

It is hoped the new education counsellor will be in Brussels by January 2006.

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