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Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Hon Paul Goldsmith has today announced the opening of the New Zealand China Sister Schools Fund for 2017.

Today’s announcement comes as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visits New Zealand, and an updated bilateral arrangement on cooperation in education and training is signed – one of the aims of which is to foster cooperation between the schools in both countries.

“Through initiatives such as the Sister Schools Fund, young New Zealanders have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to succeed in our increasingly global, connected world,” Mr Goldsmith says.

This is the third round of the fund, administered by Education New Zealand, which aims to support New Zealand schools’ relationships with their Chinese counterparts. It was first announced in 2014, following the visit of President Xi Jinping, and to date more than 40 New Zealand schools have been assisted by the fund to develop China sister school relationships.

“The Kiwi students involved in the programme, such as Hamilton Boys’ High School and Pigeon Mountain Primary in Auckland, are all gaining a deeper understanding of Chinese language and culture, and building on-going relationships with their Chinese peers,” Mr Goldsmith says.

Schools can apply to the fund for grants of up to $5000, from a total funding pool of $50,000, to support them to deepen existing sister school relationships.

The programme compliments the increasing number of New Zealand schools that are offering Chinese as a subject as awareness grows of the importance of China to New Zealand’s economy.

“Learning about Chinese language and culture will open cultural, diplomatic and trade opportunities for our young people. Chinese speakers will have an advantage in developing important business relationships, benefiting New Zealand’s economy into the future,” Mr Goldsmith says.

More information about the fund is available at www.enz.govt.nz.

Notes:

A sister school partnership is a planned collaboration designed to benefit both schools. Applicants will need to explain how their planned activity will take an existing sister school relationship forward, and foster learning opportunities, cross-cultural skills development and friendship between New Zealand and China.

The fund is open to all New Zealand schools that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice.

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