Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has today announced 11 appointments to the governing councils of eight tertiary education institutions (TEIs), including two leadership positions.
“I welcome the important broad range skills and experience that these appointees will bring to the leadership of their institutions,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“I also want to recognise and thank the outgoing members for the valuable service, commitment, and contribution they have made to tertiary education. In particular, I want to acknowledge the valuable leadership provided by Hon Roger Sowry, outgoing Chair of the WelTec Whitireia combined council.”
The appointments of council members are:University of Canterbury: the appointments of Ms Rosemary Banks and Mr Steven Wakefield as members. Lincoln University: the appointment of Ms Janice Fredric as a member. University of Waikato: the appointment of Mr Graeme Milne as a member. Manukau Institute of Technology: the appointment of Mr Uluomatootua (Ulu) Aiono as a member. Tai Poutini Polytechnic: the appointment of Ms Raelyn Lourie as Deputy Chair. Unitec Institute of Technology: the appointment of Mr John McConnell and Ms Elena Trout as members. Waikato Institute of Technology: the appointment of Ms Margaret Devlin and Mr Niwa Nuri as members. WelTec Whitireia Combined Council: the appointment of Mr Greg Campbell as a member and as Chair.
The Government is committing $4.46 million for three new New Zealand-Australia research projects that will support high-quality research in areas delivering wide-ranging benefits to New Zealand, Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith says.
“New Zealand’s collaboration with Australia in science and innovation is both extensive and constructive. These new partnerships will achieve greater impact and provide better outcomes for both countries than either New Zealand or Australia could accomplish alone,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The funding of these partnerships through the Catalyst Fund, which supports international research partnerships and scientific cooperation, reinforces the Government’s support for collaboration across the Tasman through the New Zealand – Australia Science, Research and Innovation Cooperation Agreement, signed in February 2017.
The successful projects are:New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research in collaboration with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries will undertake research on key New Zealand plant species’ susceptibility to Myrtle Rust. The University of Auckland in collaboration with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will investigate links between genes, environment, molecular physiology and health through early- and mid-life to improve the health of our children. Massey University in collaboration with CSIRO will explore turning metal-organic frameworks into disruptive technologies and applications including new catalysts for eliminating nitrous oxide greenhouse gas emissions.
“These projects reflect the fact that Australia and New Zealand face many of the same issues and opportunities that can be addressed through high-quality complementary research,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“In particular, the research into Myrtle Rust will be important for our ongoing efforts to control the spread of the disease, and manage its impacts on native species such as Manuka, with its importance to the honey industry.
“International partnerships are fundamental for New Zealand’s science and innovation system as they bring new knowledge, ideas, people, technology and investment into our system.
“These new partnerships will contribute to the unique research and innovation we generate here in New Zealand, which is valued by our international partners and provides opportunities for our biosecurity, health, and environment,” says Mr Goldsmith.
Minister of Health Jonathan Coleman and Minister of Science and Innovation Paul Goldsmith have welcomed this year’s annual funding round of Health Research Council grants with a number focusing on Maori and Pacific health.
“The 54 project grants announced today cover a wide range of topics and will provide invaluable information to help improve health outcomes for New Zealanders,” says Dr Coleman.
“An emphasis on Pacific health sees seven studies receive grants that will improve Pacific health outcomes in New Zealand with three of these from the dedicated Pacific Islands Families study.
“These Pacific grants cover research into cultural resiliency and vulnerability in mental health, sleep and well-being among Pacific children, and respiratory health, and the impact of hearing loss on Pacific youth.
“In addition to these, seven grants have been awarded to studies which focus on Maori health outcomes. These include research looking at ways to improve early access to lung cancer diagnosis, reducing hospital admissions for Maori children and support for young Maori mothers.
“Understanding how one of the world’s most problematic superbugs survives antibiotic treatment during infection is the topic of another study which will help address the growing challenge of antimicrobial resistance.”
“Projects must address well defined research questions with the aim of making significant improvements in or developing knowledge contributing to health outcomes,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“The HRC supports research that leads to improved health outcomes and more effective delivery of healthcare for New Zealanders, and research that brings economic gains for New Zealand.
“We want to maximise the opportunities in this area. Commercial health research is also a great opportunity to grow our high value exports.
“The annual amount available for health research through the Health Research Council (HRC) was increased by 56 per cent over four years in Budget 2016, going from $77 million in 2015/16 to $120 million in 2019/20.
“This investment shows our commitment to ensuring that health research remains a strength for New Zealand.”
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith have tonight launched the Primary Sector Science Roadmap at the National Fieldays.
Mr Guy says science will be a key driver in lifting overall primary sector exports to the target of $64 billion by 2025.
“From climate change, to changing consumer preferences, to a greater emphasis on issues like traceability and provenance, science and technology have an important role to play in ensuring our primary industries remain globally competitive,” says Mr Guy.
“This Roadmap will inform research conducted by New Zealand science and technology teams and organisations, along with their international partners.
“It provides a shared view across the primary sector on the science and technology needs for the sector – and where science investment needs to be focused. This document will guide the primary sector’s science direction for the next 10 to 20 years.
“I’d like to thank the many industry leaders, research organisations and individual scientists for all their valuable input into this document,” says Mr Guy.
“The creation of the Primary Sector Science Roadmap supports the Government’s overall strategy for the science system,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“The National Statement of Science Investment 2015-2025 sets out a vision for a highly dynamic science system that enriches New Zealand through excellent research that creates impact. The Government invested an estimated $428 million in primary sector research in 2016, while the industry carried out R&D worth $266 million.
“The Roadmap recognises the important role that the primary sector plays in our economy, and ensures the government, industry, and researchers are working collaboratively to achieve the best results for New Zealand through high quality science,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The Roadmap is aligned with the Conservation and Environment Science Roadmap and will be a guiding document for the strategic directions of the National Science Challenges.
Link to Roadmap – https://mpigovtnz.cwp.govt.nz/document-vault/18383
A new wellbeing strategy for international students will help to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a safe and welcoming study destination, says Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith.
The International Student Wellbeing Strategy was launched today during a visit to the Ara Institute of Canterbury.
“International education is our fourth largest export industry and provides jobs for more than 30,000 New Zealanders. It is vital students have a high quality experience while studying in New Zealand.
“The Government backs the international education export industry and the thousands of Kiwis employed in it. Our approach is to work with the industry to steadily improve outcomes, rather than threatening large parts of it,” says Mr Goldsmith.
In addition to the strengthened pastoral responsibilities of education providers introduced in 2016, Education New Zealand now has a dedicated staff member whose focus is on delivery of a high quality experience for international students.
“The new wellbeing strategy builds on this progress, setting out focus areas that international students have told us make the biggest difference to their study experience,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“Access to accurate information is particularly important for international students, so Education New Zealand is building an online information hub that will bring together information about life and study in New Zealand.”
In addition $750,000 per year is being made available for new initiatives that align with the strategy and strengthen international student wellbeing.
“This strategy reinforces our commitment to the wellbeing of our international students, to ensure they feel welcomed and acknowledge their contribution to New Zealand.”
A draft International Education Strategy for New Zealand, which sets out the Government’s vision for international education, will be released for consultation later this month.
The International Student Wellbeing Strategy can be found HERE.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced the recipients of the latest Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia (PMSA) funding round.
202 New Zealand students from universities and institutes of technology have been selected to travel to top institutions throughout Asia as part of the second 2016/17 scholarship round.
Individual recipients and groups of up to 20 students will carry out a wide variety of student exchanges, undergraduate or postgraduate study, research or internships.
“The recipients of these scholarships will be ambassadors for New Zealand as they head overseas and form global connections that will last a lifetime,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“Since it was set up in 2013, the PMSA has enabled more than 1,100 New Zealand students to experience an international education in Asian countries.
“Building new connections and networks, developing a deeper understanding of language and culture, and gaining an international perspective in their area of expertise are just some of the benefits for these students.”
The recipients will study in 10 countries throughout Asia, with China, Japan and Singapore the top three destinations in this funding round.
Study programmes for the 59 individual students include a one-semester exchange at National University of Singapore, an internship at the Hong Kong office of a global law firm, a Master of International Studies at Seoul National University in Korea, and two years’ postdoctoral research at the Institute of Robotics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.
A further 143 students were awarded a scholarship as part of 12 group applications.
Annual funding for the PMSA increased to $3 million in 2016/17, and is due to increase to $3.5 million in 2018/19, reflecting New Zealand’s growing education connections with Asia and the high calibre of applicants. The total value of the scholarships awarded this round is $1.6 million.
Applications for the first 2017/18 PMSA will open on 16 June 2017, and will close on 30 September 2017.
Further information, including a full list of the scholarship recipients, is available HERE.
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith and Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell today announced $3.9 million for 32 projects from the 2017 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund.
“The Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund focuses on the development of skilled people and organisations conducting research aligned with the four themes of the Vision Mātauranga policy; indigenous innovation, environmental sustainability, health and social well-being, and exploring indigenous knowledge,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“The Government recognises that Māori success is New Zealand’s success. Unlocking the science and innovation potential of Māori knowledge, resources and people will have significant economic, social and environmental benefits for New Zealand.
“The investment in 32 new programmes is substantial and recognises the value of Māori participation in science and innovation," says Mr Goldsmith.
This is the fifth round for the Fund, which was established in 2013. In earlier rounds 81 programmes have been funded.
“The Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund aims to strengthen capability, capacity, skills and networks between Māori and the science and innovation system,” Mr Flavell says.
“Iwi play an increasingly active role in New Zealand’s economy and in the management of natural resources. The programmes funded in the 2017 round will grow Māori research skills and further develop important links between Māori and research organisations,” says Mr Flavell.
Programmes funded in this round include:
- Development of an environmental risk assessment framework that can be used to discern if mahinga kai (wild food) at specific sites is safe for human consumption. This project will involve Environmental Science and Research staff working with Ngāi Tahu communities throughout the South Island.
- A partnership between Ngāti Whare and Scion to build capability in indigenous podocarp propagation and technologies in central North Island.
- Ngāti Rangiwewehi identifying ‘kaitiaki’ flow regimes for Awahou Stream near Rotorua. This is a new water management concept for spring-fed catchments which will be developed by the iwi working with GNS Science.
More information on Vision Mātauranga and this year’s successful recipients can be found HERE.
Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced an investment of $31.7 million to upgrade New Zealand’s supercomputing capabilities.
“The existing supercomputers are at the end of their operating lives and energy intensive by today’s standards. The new supercomputers will deliver up to 10 times the computing capability and more than four times the storage capacity of their predecessors,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The computing research service is designed and provided by the New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI), a collaboration between NIWA, Landcare and the Universities of Auckland and Otago.
“Computational needs of the science community are growing exponentially and from a range of key areas from natural hazards and climate science, through to computational chemistry, astronomy, and biomedical research,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“There are also a number of key government science initiatives that require computational support including the National Science Challenges, Centres of Research Excellence and the genomics platform.”
New Zealand currently has two supercomputers available to the research community, FitzRoy, based at NIWA’s Greta Point, Wellington site, and Pan, based at the University of Auckland.
They will be superseded by three supercomputers, with replacements for Fitzroy and Pan at NIWA in Wellington, and a smaller back up computer for NIWA housed at the University of Auckland’s Tamaki Data Centre.
“This new investment will significantly enhance New Zealand’s ability to meet the growing demands of the scientific research community and help them to tackle some of the issues crucial to our country’s future prosperity,” says Mr Goldsmith.
Installation for the new supercomputers begins in August and they are expected to be operational around February 2018. More information can be found HERE.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed the news that five of New Zealand’s eight universities have improved their ranking in the annual Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings.
First published in 2005, the QS ranking examines universities across areas such as reputation, teaching, research and internationalisation to determine an overall ranking for over 900 universities.
“These results are positive news for our world class tertiary education system, with all eight of our universities ranked in the top 450 for the second year running,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“This reflects the steady progress we are constantly making to raise the quality of our universities, and the investments into high-quality research by the government.”
Five of the eight New Zealand universities improved their ranking from last year, two remained unchanged, and one dropped a single place. All eight New Zealand universities remain ranked inside the top 450.
In 2018, the rankings for the New Zealand universities were:University of Auckland (82=), down 1 place from last year University of Otago (151), up 18 places on last year University of Canterbury (214), unchanged from last year Victoria University of Wellington (219), up 9 places from last year University of Waikato (292), up 32 places from last year Massey University (316=), up 24 places from last year Lincoln University (319=) up 24 places from last year, and Auckland University of Technology (441-450), unchanged from last year.
“The Government is committed to investing in quality tertiary education, with a $132.1 million investment in tertiary education through Budget 2017, including an additional $52.5 million for the Performance-Based Research Fund, and $69 million to increase tuition subsidy rates, helping providers to raise quality even further,” says Mr Goldsmith.
Communications Minister Simon Bridges and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith have welcomed the launch of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Forum to help understand the opportunities and challenges relating to AI in New Zealand.
Supported by NZTech, the Forum brings together users of technology, tech firms, academia and government to help connect, promote and advance the AI ecosystem and drive positive social and economic outcomes for New Zealand.
Mr Bridges says the Forum is a good example of government and industry working together to share knowledge and build capability around AI.
“AI presents exciting opportunities for New Zealand and the world. I appreciate that some people may have some concerns about AI, which is why it’s critical that we collaborate with industry and across the sector to address the opportunities and challenges that AI brings.
“The Government has a key role to play in ensuring that New Zealand can take advantage of what AI has to offer, including giving Kiwi businesses the confidence to engage with AI technologies, while balancing the risks. The Forum will be critical for helping us better understand AI and for informing the development of government policy,” Mr Bridges says.
“The future of AI carries limitless possibilities and many unknowns. It has the potential to significantly change how we live our lives, run our businesses, and how the economy works. However, New Zealand’s small size allows us to be nimble and begin to harness the opportunity now,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“The Government is supporting the forum to undertake research on AI in New Zealand, which will form the base of future work. This collaboration between government and the private sector will drive our understanding of AI and the opportunities for New Zealand,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“We want to encourage innovation in New Zealand. That’s why as part of Budget 2017 we’ve allocated $372.8 million to the second round of our Innovative New Zealand programme which invests in the skills and innovation that will keep our economy growing in the years ahead,” Mr Bridges says.
The AI Forum is one of several initiatives included in the Government’s Building a Digital Nation action plan that was released at the end of March, which sets out how the Government is partnering with New Zealand’s digital sector, other sectors of the economy and the wider digital community, to enable New Zealand to become a leading digital nation.