New Zealand recently concluded a mission to Colombia led by the Minister of Education, Training and Employment, Steven Joyce, along with representatives of New Zealand’s Agency for International Education (ENZ) with the purpose of strengthening bilateral ties and to formalize cooperation agreements in education between the two countries.
Minister Joyce met with Vice Minister of Education Natalia Ariza and her staff, and discussed ways to strengthen and promote bilateral relations between Colombia and New Zealand in education. The Colombian vice minister expressed interest in learning from New Zealand´s experience with the development of a comprehensive framework of educational standards, particularly with regard to the agricultural sector. During the meeting, teacher exchange opportunities between Colombia and New Zealand universities were raised, so that each could thoroughly understand the other’s educational systems and contribute to the educational development of their respective countries. Agreement was reached to coordinate the second round of bilateral consultations in Bogotá during the fourth quarter of 2015, to follow up on the initial consultations that took place during 2013 in Wellington, when Colombia´s mission went to New Zealand.
During the visit, the New Zealand mission gave a talk at Rosario University, met with representatives of Innpulsa, Colombia’s entrepreneurship promotion agency, and Productive Transformation Program, Colombia’s industrial policy agency. They also hosted a cocktail where attendees had the opportunity to hear about New Zealand’s educational offerings and meet representatives from leading universities of the Pacific nation.Minister Joyce also participated in the Innovation Forum where he shared data on the New Zealand’s education, highlighting achievements in technology and innovation and the possible application to the needs of Colombia .
“New Zealand is interested not only in attracting young Colombians to go to study in our country, but we are also interested in joint research, the huge opportunity that academic and student exchanges bring, as well as the opportunity to share our educational experience with Colombia,” said Minister Joyce.
An event was organized with Colfuturo, Colombia’s agency charged with supporting studies abroad by Colombians, to inform students and universities about opportunities to study at New Zealand academic institutions.”In New Zealand we are betting decisively on educational cooperation with Colombia. The potential is huge, because it goes from higher education to technical education and job training, especially in the agricultural sector. We are very optimistic about the results that we will get from these meetings with our partners in education, science and technology,” Minister Joyce added.