Hipkins to affirm education relationship in China

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins is travelling to China at the weekend for a four-day visit that includes meeting his counterpart Minister Chen Baosheng in Beijing.

The visit is aimed at reaffirming New Zealand’s Strategic Education Partnership with China, including the formal education initiatives between the countries as well as New Zealand’s commitment to being a quality and safe destination for Chinese students.

“In my meeting with Minister Chen Baosheng I will communicate New Zealand’s high regard for China and our continuing commitment to our education partnership,” Chris Hipkins said.

The visit will include Beijing and Guangzhou and visits to several leading tertiary institutions including Peking University to signal his support for deeper collaboration in teaching and research with New Zealand institutions. Mr Hipkins will witness the signing of a memorandum to enhance education cooperation, and meet education agents, alumni and media.

Chris Hipkins will also meet senior local government officials to confirm New Zealand’s interest in expanding education links with the Guangdong region.

“New Zealand’s relationship with Guangdong is an increasingly important part of the wider bilateral relationship. This is shown in the recent significant growth in education, business and government relationships between New Zealand and Guangdong.
 
China is the most important source of international students for New Zealand, Mr Hipkins said.

“Across our education system, from primary schools through to universities, students from China are highly valued and bring welcome talent to our institutions.”
 
New Zealand’s quality and sustainable education system will be a key focus of discussions, he said.

“The Economist Intelligence Unit recently ranked New Zealand first in the world for educating students for the future. It noted New Zealand’s expertise in teaching the skills necessary to succeed in an increasingly globalised world where the only constant is disruptive change.”

In particular, Mr Hipkins will discuss New Zealand’s quality education offerings in the field of entrepreneurship and how these are empowering Chinese graduates of New Zealand institutions to succeed in their chosen fields of endeavour.