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China, NZ sign qualification and VET agreements

The governments of New Zealand and China aim to broaden qualification recognition and VET collaborations after signing two agreements that they say will also enhance student mobility between the two countries.

New Zealand's Secretary for Education Peter Hughes and China's Vice Minister of Education Hao Ping shake hands on the signing of the agreement.

Chinese international students contributed NZ$800m (US$618m) to New Zealand's economy in 2012

During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand, the Arrangement on Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications in Higher Education was updated and re-signed to take into account changes to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework over the last 12 years.

“This will increase New Zealand’s attractiveness as a study destination and expand opportunities for Kiwis looking to study in China”

It adds new qualifications to the list of those recognised by each country, including two and three year diplomas from New Zealand.

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce said the deal will make it easier for New Zealand students to continue their studies in China, and vice versa.

The two countries also pledged to work together to increase further education cooperation including encouraging teacher and student exchange programmes, and increasing Chinese language learning in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, vocational education ties were deepened with the Arrangement to Operationalise the Vocational Education and Training Model Programme which agrees to more collaborative research projects, joint programmes (including the delivery of New Zealand qualifications in China), knowledge-sharing symposia, and education development opportunities.

The programme “will facilitate exchanges between educational institutions in New Zealand and China to develop initiatives that are beneficial for both countries,” Joyce said.

“We each recognise the significant contribution that education makes to the economic health of our nations, and the longer-term benefits that flow through the increased social and cultural understanding that follow,” he added.

Chinese international students contributed NZ$800m (US$618m) to New Zealand’s economy in 2012, up from $600m (US$463) in 2008.

Both agreements were signed during the eighth New Zealand-China Joint Working Group on Education and Training meeting, which coincided with Xi Jinping’s visit.

During the meeting Universities New Zealand, representing the country’s eight universities, and the China Education Association for International Exchange (CEAIE) also renewed their Agreement on Cooperation, which will facilitate new bilateral collaboration opportunities including research partnerships, leadership development programmes and staff and student exchanges.

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