Summit sets the stage for better learning with India

Venkat Raman

New Zealand’s education sector including universities and tertiary institutions, officials of the government and government agencies should learn to realign their courses, programmes to cater to the changing needs of people in the emerging economies.

This was among the highlights of ‘The Education Summit’ organised by the India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) under the theme, ‘Knowledge, Skill and Technology’ at Pullman Hotel on August 4, 2017.

The one-day event was supported by the Indian High Commission and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

Benefits of Immigration

Speaking at the post-lunch session, Prime Minister Bill English did not fail to score a political point over immigration and the need for more international students from India.

“Immigration has helped to boost the New Zealand economy and it is important that New Zealand employers are provided with people with the skills so that they can continue to grow. New Zealand is a great destination of international students and the knowledge they gain and the skills they acquire here would be useful not only in their home countries but also in New Zealand,” he said.

Creating national poll

The Immigration anti-dote came earlier from Michael Wood, Labour Member of Parliament who represented his Party at the Summit.

“We need to strengthen our education system, provide better education to our young men and women, make them debt-free and enable them to gain employment. We should make them prosperous by lifting their living standards,” he said.

Answering a question, Mr Wood said that creation of wealth comes from a sound education system and training programme and not through tax cuts.

“Labour Party’s education policy is aimed at enabling all New Zealanders gain better access to education,” he said.

The Summit began with a tribute to Wenceslaus Anthony, former INZBC Chair and Head of Government Relations, who passed away after a sudden illness in Chennai on July 23, 2017. INZBC Treasurer, who read out the Obituary, recalled the services of Mr Anthony to INZBC and to fostering trade relations between New Zealand and India.

Gallery of Dignitaries

Among the other dignitaries who spoke at the inaugural session were Trade Minister Todd McClay, Indian High Commissioner Sanjiv Kohli, FICCI Assistant Secretary General Shobha Mishra Ghosh and Education New Zealand Chief Executive Grant McPherson.

Knowledge Session

The Knowledge Session included presentations by Michal Wood, Antardisha (based in Delhi) Founder President Professor Indira Parikh, University of Auckland International Director Brett Berquist, Shiv Nadar University Vice-Chancellor and FICCI Higher Education Committee Member Professor Rupamanjari Ghosh and AUT University Built Environment Head of Department Professor John Tookey.

Gaurav Gupta of INZBC adds:

A highlight of the Summit related to 31 university students from India who received the ‘New Zealand Excellence Award,’ given by Education New Zealand (ENZ).

The students are pursuing undergraduate or postgraduate study in business, design or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related programmes.

ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson said, “India is a core trade, economic, political and education partner for New Zealand, with two-way trade valued at around $2.5 billion. These young scholars will 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.

Nineteen awardees were present at the Summit, representing the first round of the Awards with each scholarship value of $5000 towards tuition fee in the first year.

FICCI Assistant Secretary General Shobha Mishra Ghosh, who led the delegation said, “Education has been the driver of any developed economy globally. India is focused on making its education sector robust and is looking at collaboration with countries that will be mutually beneficial. New Zealand has enormous potential in high end IT, animation, creativity and design. India provides immense opportunities for students from New Zealand as well.”

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Photo Caption:

Speakers at the Education Summit:

  1. Prime Minister Bill English
  2. Trade Minister Todd McClay
  3. Indian High Commissioner Sanjiv Kohli
  4. Labour MP Michael Wood

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