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New Zealand awards honour Indian students

Thirty-one Indian students have received a scholarship to go towards their first-year tuition fee as part of the inaugural New Zealand Excellence Awards.

Education New Zealand Excellence AwardsSome of the award winners with New Zealand's Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith. L-R: Megha Sharma, Selva Ganapathy Ramasamy, Vrinda Verma, Arya Prakash Watwe, Vinutha Haridhasan, Shamili Ramasubramanian, Anchal Naik, Paul Goldsmith, Adithya Gulab, Samskar Palavarapu, Ameya Vaikar, Bhavana Pratapani, Badsha Chandra, Sheetal Datt, Poonam Saini, Anso Jo Mathai, Akilesh Chokkanathapuram Vasudevan. Photo: ENZ

The winners received a NZ$5,000 scholarship.

Announced earlier this month, the awards recognise outstanding university performance among students and come at a time when Indian study visa applications are declining.

The initiative between local universities and Education New Zealand is aimed at boosting international education and enhancing the image of the country as an attractive study destination among talented Indian students.

“These top young scholars will further strengthen ties between our two countries”

As an essential part of the application process, students have to hold a minimum equivalent grade average of B+ in their most recent qualification; have achieved at least 6.0 points in the IELTS exam and pursue studies related to business, fashion or STEM subjects.

Having outstanding academic performance and meeting all the needed requirements, the winners received a NZ$5,000 scholarship.

The awards will run again in 2018, and students can apply from September 1.

According to Grant McPherson, ENZ chief executive, India is an important economic, political and education partner for New Zealand, contributing $2.5bn in two-way trade deals.

“These top young scholars will further strengthen ties between our two countries, by contributing to a broader exchange of ideas in our universities, building our respective research capabilities, and enriching New Zealand culture,” he said.

Any improvement in the New Zealand-Indian relations will be welcomed by stakeholders in both countries after a 2016 investigation uncovered significant financial document fraud leading to a spat of visa recensions and low visa application approval rates compared to previous years.

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