New Zealand and Vietnam commit to strategic education partnership

July 22, 2020 | 15:40
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The renewal of a Strategic Engagement Plan on Education will see the education relationship between New Zealand and Vietnam prosper with a rich, two-way exchange of knowledge, students, and skills under a number of initiatives.
new zealand and vietnam commit to strategic education partnership
The signing ceremony of Education New Zealand and the Ministry of Education and Training

A refreshed Strategic Engagement Plan on Education has been signed today between Education New Zealand (ENZ) and Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training.

The renewed Strategic Engagement Plan 2020-2023 will feature initiatives across education sectors in New Zealand and Vietnam, including joint programmes in the tertiary sector, innovative education models in blended and online delivery, continued collaboration to improve institution-to-institution partnerships for English language training, and alumni engagement.

Among the refreshed plan’s proposed initiatives are innovative education models in blended and online delivery, which will be particularly relevant to how New Zealand and Vietnam build on their education relationship in a post-COVID-19 environment.

New Zealand will continue its commitment to support Vietnam’s efforts in achieving its 21st century education objectives to produce well-trained, work-ready graduates with the skills necessary to compete in a rapidly changing global market.

While the initial signing of the Strategic Engagement Plan in 2015 laid the foundation for a strategic education partnership between New Zealand and Vietnam, the renewed plan will look to build on existing education initiatives and identify new opportunities that can be co-developed and delivered for the mutual benefit of both countries.

ENZ chief executive Grant McPherson said the Strategic Engagement Plan’s renewal provides an important opportunity to leverage and build on the longstanding education partnership between New Zealand and Vietnam.

“We value the vibrancy and richness that Vietnamese students bring to New Zealand campuses and communities, and we’ve been thrilled to see the growing number of students from Vietnam choosing to study in New Zealand in recent years. As the international reputation of our world-class education offering continues to grow, we remain committed to building our brand awareness in Vietnam and continuing our close partnership with the Ministry of Education and Training," he said.

“While COVID-19 has presented us with challenges, we are looking forward to welcoming Vietnamese students into New Zealand when it is safe to do so, including through initiatives such as the New Zealand Schools Scholarships and the New Zealand Scholarships programme for postgraduate students. We remain committed to exploring creative ways with which to build on our education relationship, including through blended and online learning.”

New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam Wendy Matthews said it was fitting to see the re-commitment to the Strategic Engagement Plan in 2020, which marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Vietnam.

“The New Zealand-Vietnam relationship has gone from strength to strength in recent years and education has been an integral part of this growth. I am delighted to see New Zealand institutions embarking on new ventures with education partners in Vietnam – together they are developing innovative and student-centric approaches. As we celebrate 45 years of diplomatic relations in 2020, I am confident today’s signing will serve as an effective platform to further advance education cooperation between Vietnam and New Zealand and deliver successful education outcomes for our students.”

New Zealand’s education system is ranked first among English-speaking countries and third in the world for delivering a future-focused education, according to the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index 2019. New Zealand has consistently ranked among the top three countries globally since the index was launched in 2018.

In 2018, more than 2,700 Vietnamese students chose to study in New Zealand. This number included 600 secondary school students, a 40 per cent increase on the year before. There was also an 8 per cent increase in students studying at a New Zealand university for the same period.

Since the 1990s, more than 300 Vietnamese students and 550 officials have received awards to pursue a postgraduate qualification or study English in New Zealand.

Under the ENZ-administered Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia, launched in 2013, 143 New Zealand students have chosen Vietnam as their study and internship destination to date.

By An Nhien

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