Kapil Sibal, Union Minister of Human Resource Development and Hon’ble Steven Joyce, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, New Zealand, co-chaired the first meeting of the India-New Zealand Education Council held on October 19. The council has been constituted to draw up a framework and devise mechanisms of co-operation and set the agenda for improving educational relations between the two countries. Senior academicians, industry leaders and government officials from both the sides also attended the meeting. Both the ministers expressed satisfaction at the vibrant engagement between the two sides in the field of education and hoped that the council will further strengthen the collaborative efforts.
Both leaders renewed their commitment for collaboration and partnership in higher education. India and New Zealand expressed their commitment to earmark US$ 1 million annually to enhance the co-operative activities through specific programmes designed by the council. The programmes will include joint research, student mobility, faculty development, qualifications framework as well as vocational education and training, among others.
The members of the council recognized skill development, especially catering to the needs of the industry and keeping pace with the exponential growth in global mobility of workforce, as one of the major challenges facing the two countries and pledged further collaboration. The council also noted the need to set up more institutions of excellence, for which enhancement of the quality of faculty is a key challenge.