Indian varsities eye our tertiary education

A number of Indian universities are keen to examine the efficacies of the New Zealand tertiary education system and study the possibilities of adopting them to their own institutions.

Vice-Chancellors of five prominent Indian universities, representing a total of one million students, were in New Zealand last month to establish what they called, ‘Contacts at Vice-Chancellors level,’ exchange information and work together to achieve their goals.

Professor A N Rai, Vice-Chancellor of the Shillong (Meghalaya) based North Eastern Hill University led the delegation comprising Professor Dinesh Singh (University of Delhi), Dr Rajan Welukar (University of Mumbai), Professor Ramakrishna Ramaswamy (University of Hyderabad) and Professor Surabhi Banerjee (Central University of Orissa).

Their key objective was to establish contacts with Vice-Chancellors of New Zealand universities and understand the approach to indigenous and Maori-centred education.

They visited the Manawatu Campus of Massey University on February 15 and discussed a number of issues with Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey and other officials on issues of relevance to them.

Exchange and interaction

Mr Rai said that the delegation was keen on exchange of teachers, students, researchers and interaction between tertiary level education providers in New Zealand and India.

“There are hundreds of millions of people in India coming into the system and there are lots of opportunities in New Zealand for Indian students,” he said, speaking at the meeting.

Mr Maharey described the meeting as “very positive and offering considerable opportunity for Massey to support and contribute to tertiary education in India.

“The headline of the day was that India is anticipating huge numbers – some 200 million – coming into the tertiary education system in the near future and they have to have the capacity to provide education for them. We want to be one of the providers.

“Massey has expertise in many, ranging from teacher education to issues of food production and this is a huge opportunity for us to support universities in India,” he said.

According to him, Massey offered a wealth of knowledge in the field of indigenous and Maori education.

“We have about 30 years of experience to offer in terms of bringing people who have traditionally not entered the tertiary education system into the system,” he said.

The challenges

Professor Rai said India faced similar challenges.

“The indigenous people in India have been deprived of education. We are examining the ways and means of transferring what we see in New Zealand into the Indian tertiary education system,” he said.

The picture appearing here shows (from left) Massey University International Director Bruce Graham, Professor Banerjee, Professor Sir Mason Durie, Professor Ingrid Day, Professor James Chapman, Professor Susan Mumm, Professor Harjinder Singh (Riddet Institute), Professor Rai, Professor Dinesh Singh, Mr Maharey, Dr Surinder Saggar (Massey Institute of Natural Resources), Professor Ramaswamy, Melanie Chapman (New Zealand High Commission, New Delhi), Dr Sita Venkateswar (Massey College of Humanities and Social Sciences) and Dr Welukar.

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