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Saudi Arabian Scholarship Success Speaks Volumes

‘Saudi Arabian Scholarship Success Speaks Volumes’

Education New Zealand: Media Release 01/02/2007

‘New Zealand’s success in securing over 300 Saudi Arabian Scholarship students speaks volumes for the quality of our education offering and the way in which Universities and stakeholders have been able to work together to attract students’ says Robert Stevens, Chief Executive of Education New Zealand, responding to today’s announcement by Tertiary Education Minister Michael Cullen.

‘New Zealand’s universities have put aside traditional competitive rivalries and cooperated to rise to the challenge presented by the Saudi opportunity’ says Robert Stevens. ‘This business maturity shows that the principle of ‘co-opetition’ is well understood by our leading providers, and maximises the benefits for New Zealand. Education New Zealand strongly supports this approach, and has worked hard with the Universities in this and other markets to ensure that New Zealand is to the forefront when educational opportunities arise’.

Scholarships are an important area of work for Education New Zealand, which has resourced and employed a temporary staff member in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia for the past several months assisting with the administration and co-ordination required to participate in the large Saudi Arabian Government funded scholarship programme.

‘This is new territory for Education New Zealand’ says Robert Stevens. ‘The costs of coordination and support have been met on a per student fee for service basis, in a modified IDP type model. The Education New Zealand Board has strongly promoted and supported this initiative, and is mindful of the possibilities of other international scholarship opportunities. However, further initiatives will be dependent on a full evaluation of the Saudi scheme.’

‘Everyone is a winner from this decision by the Saudi Arabian Government to award hundreds of scholarships to students studying in New Zealand’ concludes Robert Stevens. ‘The students will benefit from the excellent education that our Universities provide. Our Universities are very experienced in satisfying the overall requirements of international students and the social and cultural opportunities flow strongly both ways. The economic benefits, both short and long term, are large. And the mana of our country and our educators is enhanced. We look forward to the incoming students commencing and enjoying their New Zealand experience’.


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