VIP visit to India promotes NZ education

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16 Nov 2016

Up to 10 students from Kumaraguru College of Technology (KCT) in India will sign up for a ‘Motorsport’ Engineering Systems Analysis programme at Ara Institute of Canterbury, which commences in January 2017.

Ara Council Chair Jenn Bestwick visited India recently with a high level delegation that included the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key along with other education providers, and was designed to promote New Zealand’s specialist, high quality education to elite Indian institutions. Both governments want to see more engagement in education opportunities between the two countries.

(Left to right) – Ara Manager International Market Sector Sushrutha Metikurke, KCT Joint Correspondent Shankar Vanavarayar, Government of India Minister of State for Finance Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, Ara Council Chair Jenn Bestwick and KCT Manager - International Partnerships Nishanth Sivaswamy.

“The mission offered up insights from India's educational leaders on how, and where, they see value in partnering with New Zealand educational institutions,” Bestwick said.

“We have an opportunity for Ara and other New Zealand institutions to ‘Think New’ in terms of how we approach this market for the mutual benefit of institutions and students in both New Zealand and India.”

The visit built on an existing relationship with the institute. In August, Mechanical Engineering lecturer Graeme Harris and Computing lecturer Dave Bracken took their teaching experience to KCT and signed MOUs on behalf of the Department of Engineering & Architectural Studies, Department of Computing and Department of Business for exchange study tours and programmes.  

Ara has now developed relationships with a number of Indian institutes, including KCT, Jaipuria Institute of Management, Rizvi College of Arts, Science & Commerce and Gujarat Technological University (GTU).

In March 2016 a group of six Ara business management students had a taste of the dynamic world of business in India, with the support of the CPIT Foundation, at GTU.  A further group of Ara students will visit two institutes in India during January and February 2017 funded by the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia.  

Beth Knowles, Ara International Director, said that, “the two way student mobility opportunities we are creating underpins our internationalisation strategy and ensures our students have the opportunity to be involved in a study abroad experience, while helping to prepare them for a global work environment.”

Indian student numbers have been increasing at Ara, from 160 in 2014 and 277 in 2015 to 365 EFTS in 2016 from a total of over 1,017 EFTS (equivalent full-time international students) studying at Ara this year.  

The students from KCT will visit in January 2017 for the programme, which includes an intensive two and a half week face to face component in Christchurch followed by a research project that will be completed in India.

The programme has been trialled this year and received attention recently with Michael Scott, who won the 2015-16 New Zealand Formula Ford series and a subsequent place in the 2017 USF2000 series in the USA next month.