Maharashtra, New Zealand partner for advanced academics

Mumbai, Oct 25 (IANS) Maharashtra and Education New Zealand (ENZ) on Tuesday entered into a Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) for cooperation in higher and advanced education, coinciding with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s visit to India.

The SPA signals a commitment to strengthening education cooperation and engagement at the university level in Maharashtra, advanced teaching, research and management in member-institutions, said a spokesperson.

University of Otago Vice-Chancellor Harlene Hayne, who is also the Chair of Universities New Zealand, said the SPA provides a framework to explore academic opportunities between the two countries.

“It offers us an avenue to build institutional engagement between our universities through faculty relationships and exchanges, research and innovation collaborations, and information sharing,” Hayne said.

ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson, who was present said the SPA is one of several sector-led initiatives to enable New Zealand continue attracting high-quality students from India besides supporting research and innovations between the two countries.

The agreement was signed by Vice Chancellor of University of Waikato, Neil Quigley, on behalf of Universities New Zealand, and Maharashtra’s Principal Secretary, Higher Education, Sitaram J. Kunte, at an event attended by education representatives from both the state and New Zealand.

Maharashtra has 24 universities with a turnout of around 160,000 graduates annually, compared to New Zealand’s eight universities with an output of 43,000 graduates each year.

Hayne said New Zealand offers a world-class university system.

The SPA with Maharashtra is one of many education initiatives being formally announced during New Zealand Prime Minister John Key’s visit to India beginning Tuesday.

–IANS

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