India-New Zealand sign five MoUs in first Education Council meeting

Saturday, October 20, 2012
Indian Human Resources and Development Minister Kapil
Sibal addressing the Educational Council meeting in New Delhi 
New Delhi: Indian Human Resource and Development minister Kapil Sibal and Steven Joyce, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, New Zealand co-chaired the first meeting of the India-New Zealand Education Council held Friday here in New Delhi.

 The Council has been constituted to draw up a framework and devise mechanisms of co-operation and set the agenda for improving educational relations between the two countries.

This first meeting of the Council was attended by senior academicians, industry leaders and government officials from both sides. Both the Ministers expressed satisfaction at the vibrant engagement between the two sides in the field of education and hoped that the Council, being a novel joint mechanism, will further strengthen the collaborative efforts.

Both leaders renewed their commitment to collaboration and partnership in higher education. India and New Zealand expressed their commitment to earmark US $ 1 million annually to enhance the cooperative activities through specific programmes designed by the India-New Zealand Education Council. The programmes will include joint research, student mobility, faculty development, qualifications framework as well as vocational education and training, among others.

Six MoUs of cooperation between different institutions were also signed on during the meeting.

The members of the Council recognised skill development, especially catering to the needs of the industry and keeping  pace with the exponential growth in global mobility of workforce, as one of the major challenges facing the two countries and pledged further collaboration.

The mobility of students and workforce also necessitates parity in qualifications between various countries and therefore, the Council suggested early recognition of each other’s educational qualifications by India and New Zealand. The Council also noted the need to set up more institutions of excellence, for which enhancement of the quality of faculty is a key challenge. It was also agreed to collaborate in the Tribal Studies and preservation of languages, culture and traditional crafts.

The meeting was attended by officials from Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills, New Zealand High Commission in India and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade,  Vice-Chancellor of various New Zealand Universities, executive of Vocational Educational Institutes and representatives from business organizations.
From the Indian side officials of Ministry of HRD, UGC, Vice-Chancellors, eminent academicians senior professors from Indian Universities and officials, representatives of Industries including FICCI and CII participated in the meeting.

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