Government must learn from INZBC Education Summit

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Venkat Raman

Ministers and Government officials attending the Education Summit scheduled to be held on August 4, 2017 must learn the importance of association with quality education providers, professional institutions, and experts in education, rather than playing to the gallery and wooing voters in the upcoming general election.

The Summit, organised by India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) comes at a critical juncture of the New Zealand economy, where self-serving interests have tried to hijack education from its classrooms for their political ends. The Council deserves our support and adulation for focusing on the importance of educating our men and women, providing opportunities for international students from India and elsewhere and upskilling New Zealanders for their career advancement and national good.

High Quality Education

INZBC Treasurer Bhav Dhillon hit the right chord when he said, “India has the market and New Zealand has a high quality in education; so, there are ways to look at collaborations among institutions, to create a win-win situation. The Summit will commence new dialogues in this area to bring a positive impact on the industry on both sides of the world.”

Along with former Prime Minister John Key, we were witness to an Agreement signed Between INZBC and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on October 26, 2016 in New Delhi, one of the clauses of which was the Summit with the theme, ‘Knowledge, Skill, Technology.’

Impressive Speakers

The INZBC Education Summit has an impressive line-up of Speakers including Indian High Commissioner Sanjiv Kohli, Manipal based educationist T V Mohandas Pai, Antardisha (a charitable organisation that help people to rediscover themselves’) Founder-President Indira Parikh, FICCI Secretary General Alwyn Didar Singh, Shiv Nadar University Vice-Chancellor Professor Rupamanjari Ghosh, Bombay Stock Exchange Limited Managing Director and Chief Executive Ambarish Datta, New Zealand Ministers Todd McClay (Trade), Paul Goldsmith (Tertiary Education), Jacqui Dean (Small Business) Labour Party Leader Andrew Little, University of Auckland International Director Brett Barquist and Wellington Institute of Technology and Whitireia Chief Executive Chris Gosling.

“This engagement will entail exchange of ideas and best practices and explore opportunities for collaboration in the areas of education, skill and technology between India and New Zealand,” FICCI Assistant Secretary General Shobha Mishra Ghosh said.

Education Strategy 2025

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority, a government-owned educational authority that sets standards for education providers throughout the country, released a Discussion Paper in June 2017 outlining its Education Strategy which provides New Zealand’s vision for 2025. The Discussion document, available online ( has called for submissions on or before August 31, 2017.

In seeking international students who would benefit from higher education in New Zealand, the NZQA has also outlined the Government’s commitment to strengthen, align and effectively monitor the regulatory levers for international education to ensure high quality and consistent outcomes, monitor trends and provide intelligence on developments in international education and implement Student Wellbeing Strategy.

Several New Zealand Universities and Polytechnics such as University of Auckland, Massey University, AUT University, Victoria University and the Manukau Institute of Technology have established collaborative ventures with Universities and Colleges in India for a meaningful and mutually rewarding participation in the education sector. Their vision also includes establishing educational avenues in India to augment growth.

As the NZQA Strategy has mentioned, New Zealanders benefit from enhanced knowledge and understanding of other cultures and languages.

“Equipping New Zealanders with the international expertise and readiness required to live and work globally is one of the wider benefits of international education.”

We would hope that the INZBC Summit will take New Zealand in that direction.

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