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NZ Education Counsellors for Chile and South Korea

21 June 2006

NZ Education Counsellors for Chile and South Korea

Education counsellors are to be appointed to Chile and South Korea to strengthen links with two important markets, Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen announced today.

The positions in Chile and South Korea will be the sixth and seventh in a network of counsellors who operate from New Zealand embassies and high commissions around the world.

"These are important positions which will help grow a sector currently worth $2 billion a year," said Dr Cullen.

Three education counsellors are already working in Beijing, Washington, and Brussels, and a fourth will begin work in Kuala Lumpur in July. An education counsellor in New Delhi is likely to be working before the end of 2006, while the counsellors in Santiago and Seoul will be in place by the middle of next year.

The counsellor in Santiago will focus on maintaining the momentum generated by the mission to Chile made by the former Education Minister to Latin America in 2004, as well as the Prime Minister’s visit to Chile earlier this year. The counsellor will help strengthen New Zealand’s education relationship with Chile as envisaged in the bilateral Memorandum of Understanding on Education Cooperation signed in April 2004.

The Seoul-based counsellor will expand current government activity and, building on existing institutional linkages, facilitate opportunities for high calibre education linkages for New Zealand. South Korea is the second largest source of students to New Zealand.

“The main role of education counsellors is to build bilateral education relationships nationally and at the level of institutions, and support the efforts of our education sector to expand export opportunities,” Dr Cullen said. The counsellors also contribute to New Zealand’s broader development and foreign policy goals.

“The new education counsellors will work to expand tertiary linkages, especially in research and the creative, biotechnology, communications and information technology industries. These are areas the government has identified as vital for the transformation of the economy."

ENDS

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