Student exchange with European universities funded

Monday 14 April 2008, 3:53PM
By Pete Hodgson

The Labour-led government is providing $600,000 over four years to fund a new European Union/New Zealand exchange programme, Minister for Tertiary Education Pete Hodgson, announced today.

The programme, administered by the Tertiary Education Commission, will support academic and student exchanges of up to 30 New Zealanders and 30 Europeans to study abroad for between five and 10 months.

“New Zealand universities already have many partnership arrangements with European universities. This initiative provides an opportunity to strengthen these ties, and supports New Zealand students to study at top quality institutions in Europe, experience other cultures, and bring home valuable international knowledge,” said Pete Hodgson.

Proposals from New Zealand tertiary education organisations will be accepted up until 6 June 2008 and it is expected the exchanges will begin in 2009.

The European Commission will contribute to the programme a similar amount of funding as the New Zealand government.

This new exchange programme follows a European Union/New Zealand exchange pilot which was launched in 2004. This pilot, which involved Interactive Design students from Canterbury University, Waikato University and the Wanganui School of Design, allowed students the opportunity to work in different environments – Austria, Slovenia and the United Kingdom – and gain exposure to cutting edge research and technology.

The European Union has similar programmes with the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Korea.