Colombian Vice Minister of Education Patrizia Martinez Barrios arrived in New Zealand Sunday for a week-long visit with a delegation of senior government and business representatives for talks to build education connections between the two countries.
A bilateral education consultation meeting will be held in Wellington on Tuesday involving New Zealand education and immigration officials, as well as representatives of New Zealand education providers, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce said Monday.
A statement of intent would be signed at the meeting with both countries agreeing to establish Masters Degree and PhD scholarship programs, and to collaborate on technical and vocational education and industry-based training, particularly in agriculture.
"The objective of the bilateral education consultation meeting is to help our education sector build a deeper understanding of Colombia's education requirements, and progress proposals for Colombian PhD students to study in New Zealand," Joyce said in a statement.
"It will also allow Colombian education officials to develop an appreciation of New Zealand's education system and see how New Zealand, as an excellent place in which to learn English, can support their government's strategy to make English an official language in Colombia."
The number of fee-paying Colombian students studying in New Zealand rose from 207 in 2007 to 727 last year, indicating Colombia had the potential to become a significant education market for New Zealand, he said.