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India lures New Zealand as top education source market

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Sep 10 (UNI) Riding on its ''improved visa policy'' and ''cost effective'' educational courses, New Zealand aims at a 50 per cent increase in Indian students for ensuing academic session over this year's total of over 1,400, a senior official said.

''The number of students seeking admission to colleges in New Zealand is growing every year. Although a big chunk of students in our country comes from China, but Indians constitute majority in post graduate courses'' New Zealand Trade Commissioner to India Paul Vaughan told UNI at a two-day 'New Zealand Education Fair 2006' here that ends today.

India is among four top education source markets of New Zealand, he said, adding, ''We had recorded 45 per cent growth this year with 1,400 students taking admission in various institutes, and aim at 50 per cent rise in coming session.'' Over 2,500 Indian students are at present studying in New Zealand, he informed.

The education sector in New Zealand, Mr Vaughan said, is major booster of tourism industry of the country.

''Foreign student play an improtant role in increasing tourism influx in the country, as their close relations visit to New Zealand, at least once during their stay.'' The promotion of education sector also help make bilateral relation and trade between the two countries strong.

''They (students) develop good relations during their stay, which later on -- when they reach middle managerial positions or in administrative posts -- help in strengthening trade and business ties with two countries. This is a long process but gives a solid platform,'' he said.

India holds a significant position for New Zealand as many students opted to stay on after completing studies. ''We give visa extention to students to seach for a job after they complete their course,'' Mr Vaughan said, admiting that country lacks in trained manpower.

New Zealand, which had revised and put in place a new visa policy last year, has the lowest rate of unemployment and shortage of skilled workers, which offers better job prospects for trained people.

The most sought after courses were business administration and information technology, but courses in hotel management and tourism are also being sought after now a days, the Trade Commissioner said.

The fair at Chennai on Thursday got a good response, with 150 students attending within the first hour of its opening.

The two-day fair here in the national Capital, which ends today, attracted large number of people seeking admissions in various New Zealand Universities. Over 250 people sought information regarding admissions to the New Zealand university on the first day.

Twenty educational institutes from eight state-funded universities had set up their shops to counsel students and parents.

UNI VJ SB BS1305

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