WELLINGTON, April 11 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand and Chinese officials have signed an agreement that aims to boost links between institutions in the two countries.
New Zealand Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce, currently with Prime Minister John Key's delegation in China, said the strategic education partnership agreement would build on the positive bilateral relationship by supporting more institutional partnerships.
Joyce and Chinese Education Minister Yuan Guiren signed the partnership arrangement between the two countries' ministries of education in Beijing.
"More than 24,000 Chinese students come to New Zealand schools and tertiary education institutions every year, making China the largest source of international students in New Zealand," Joyce said in a statement from his office Thursday.
"We look forward to welcoming more Chinese students to New Zealand, and also exploring new and innovative ways to export New Zealand education expertise to China."
The agreement was put into place with the signing of an agreement between New Zealand's Waikato Institute of Technology and China's Tianjin and Qingdao technical colleges.
"China, like many other countries, faces labor demands for skilled workers in key infrastructure areas like building and engineering. Vocational education and training is an area that New Zealand polytechnics excel at," Joyce said.
"There are many opportunities to work with technical colleges in China on program design and assessment."