Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has welcomed the establishment of the New Zealand India Research Institute, heralding the start of a closer research relationship between New Zealand and India.
The New Zealand India Research Institute will be administratively based at Victoria University in Wellington and will involve nearly 40 academics in five New Zealand universities – Victoria, Auckland, Massey, Canterbury and Otago.
“New Zealand and India share strong people-to-people links through migration, tourism, sport and education. This partnership deepens those close ties and provides opportunities for important academic research in both our countries,” Joyce says. “The institute will allow our two countries to learn more about each other through a greater level of joint research, post-graduate studies and staff exchanges.”
The focus of will be on five areas: society and culture; migration; economics and business, environment and sustainability; and politics and security. In 2013 the Institute proposes to hold a major international conference in Wellington on one of those areas.
The announcement took place at the inaugural meeting of the India-New Zealand Education Council co-chaired byJoyce and India’s Minister of Human Resources Development, Shri Kapil Sibal.
The council, which has a jointly funded annual budget of up to NZ$1 million, was set up ensure greater co-operation in education between New Zealand and India and was announced in India last year by Prime Minister John Key. The New Zealand India Research Institute was one of five memoranda of understanding signed between New Zealand and Indian institutions. The other MoUs covered areas such as vocational training, joint research training, student exchanges and ICT.