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Strengthening school relationships with China

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Twenty schools across New Zealand have received NZ$50,000 in total to strengthen their Chinese sister school relationships, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce announced on 10 April.

Mr Joyce is in Shanghai to foster ties between the two countries’ marine, education and technology sectors.

The New Zealand-China Sister Schools Fund was announced during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand in November 2014. The fund is administered by Education New Zealand and schools applied for grants to develop new and existing relationships.

Most schools are using their grants to support students and staff to travel to China.

“It is important that New Zealand builds strong people-to-people links with China, which is now one of our largest trading partners,” Mr Joyce says.

“Having more New Zealand school students building a personal understanding of China and its people is an investment in the future of New Zealand in this Asia-Pacific century.”

“In China strong personal relationships are essential. The initiatives supported by this funding will foster learning opportunities and links between our two countries.”

Otago Girls’ and Boys’ high schools will use their award to fund a trip to perform at the prestigious Shanghai Spring International Music Festival Choral Week. They will also visit their sister schools in Shanghai and take part in Nanjing Choral Week.

Western Heights High School in Rotorua will send students to its sister school in Jiangxi Province for an authentic immersion study experience staying with local host families.

“Sister school partnerships are designed to benefit participating schools from both New Zealand and China, and will help ensure that we have the cross-cultural understanding and language skills to see our good relationship thrive,” Mr Joyce says.

The list of funding recipients of the New Zealand-China Sister Schools Fund is available at http://enz.govt.nz/our-services/business-development/tools-for-schools/new-zealand-china-sister-schools-fund.