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Thailand/Dunedin education relationship formalised

Dunedin (9 April 2019) – Education relationships between Thailand and Dunedin will be formalised this week with two agreements being signed, connecting over a dozen Thai schools with six local high schools.

Members of a nine-strong Thai delegation and Enterprise Dunedin Director, John Christie, will sign two Memorandums of Understanding (MoU’s) at the Civic Centre on Wednesday 10 April. The MoU’s will ratify a relationship between six Dunedin high schools and 12 Princess Chulabhorn Science High Schools, plus Chitralada School (situated in the Dusit Palace grounds, Bangkok). Representatives of Bayfield High School, Kavanagh College, Otago Boys’ High School, Otago Girls’ High School, Queen’s High School and Taieri College will also attend.

The Thai Ministry of Education’s Deputy Secretary-General of the Office of the Basic Education Commission (OBEC), Dr Amporn Pinasa, will sign on behalf of the Princess Chulabhorn schools. Director of Chitralada School, Associate Professor Dr Yuvadee Nakapadungrat, will sign on behalf of her school.

The MoU’s underscore a relationship that became active in February when eight Thai students enrolled in six Dunedin high schools for two months.

“The Thai international student market is a strong one for the city,” says Mr Christie, “Statistics from 2017 show it’s in the top 10 countries for Dunedin, with 102 Thai students studying here that year – 63 of those at high school. Those numbers are quite stable year on year. With these MoUs we aim to increase awareness of Dunedin’s quality education and create supportive pathways to help more Thai students transition from our high schools to local tertiary study.”

After signing the MoUs, the delegation will visit Kavanagh College and Otago Boys’ High School to observe STEM classes. It will also visit the University of Otago.

In future, the secondary school programme may grow to include joint school projects between classes in Dunedin and Thailand, a student buddy system and a teachers’ exchange programme.


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