Thu 20 Sep 2018

Chinese visit

WITT’s ties with China have been strengthened following a visit on Wednesday by a delegation from Jilin City, Jilin Province in the North East of China.

Jilin City, in Jilin Province, has a population of about 4.5 million – somewhat similar to New Zealand but in a much smaller area. 

The Vice President of Jilin City No 1 High School, Zhong Tao, led the delegation to sign a new memorandum of understanding with WITT.

“As it turns out, we have a long history with them, and them with us,” chief executive Barbara George said.

“One of the delegates came to WITT some 15 years ago on a teacher exchange programme.  She brought with her photos from that time and was pleased to see that the familiar welcome and friendliness of our staff were still very much here. 

“Some 15 years ago, WITT’s was the first international MOU that this school signed, and as they left after their visit, they took with them a newly signed agreement that will see us develop cultural and educational exchanges over time.”

Barbara George welcomed the guests and discussed the positive educational outcomes that WITT international students experience.  The cost of living in New Plymouth is attractive to overseas students, as is the lifestyle and the fact that Taranaki is a safe region.

“The visit included time for both parties to learn some new words from each other’s cultures.  Our Chinese guests were happily waving “Haere Ra” as they left. 

WITT now has five institutional agreements with China, including one in Kunming, New Plymouth’s sister city.  There are plans for WITT to visit China again in 2019, now it has recovered its NZQA category ranking, and continue talks for attracting Chinese students to the region. 

WITT now has more than 200 international students studying on its Bell Street and Hamilton campuses, and a further 50 students are expected before the end of the year.

“The majority of students come from India and Nepal, and we are expecting numbers of Chinese students to increase significantly over the next few years’ Barbara George said.  

 

Pictured: WITT chief Barbara George, second from left, pictured with members of the Jilin City delegation this week.