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Middle East education delegations visit NZ

Middle East education delegations visit New Zealand

Education Minister Trevor Mallard met last night with Her Excellency Dr Rawya Al Busaidi, Undersecretary for Education of the Higher Education Ministry in Oman.

Trevor Mallard also met with an education delegation from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday night, led by His Excellency Dr Ali Al Ghafis, Governor of the General Organisation for Technical Education and Vocational Training (GOTEVOT).

“I am extremely pleased that Drs Al Busaidi and Al Ghafis took up an invitation to lead education delegations to New Zealand. This visit represents further development of close education ties between our countries,” Trevor Mallard said.

Dr Al Busaidi and Dr Al Ghafis are heading delegations to further explore education co-operation with New Zealand, following the visit earlier this year of a New Zealand education delegation to the Middle East (including Saudi Arabia and Oman) led by Trevor Mallard.

"New Zealand is well-regarded throughout the Gulf region as a provider of quality education services and a number of New Zealand universities already host students from Saudi Arabia, Oman and other Gulf countries.

“I believe there are opportunities for New Zealand institutions to provide young Saudis and Omanis with the skills they need to fill key positions at home,” Trevor Mallard said.

"This is an opportunity as well for our export education industry to diversify and not be so reliant on just one region."

Dr Busaidi is leading a 10-day study tour of New Zealand, visiting a range of tertiary education providers to evaluate their suitability to host Omani scholarship students and to meet with students already studying here.

Following Trevor Mallard’s visit to Oman, the Omani Government announced that up to 20 Omani scholarship students would arrive to study in New Zealand in 2003.

The Saudi Arabian delegation is hoping to learn from New Zealand’s experience in the development of qualification frameworks and e-learning courses, the administering of private training establishments, and the provision of industry training.

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