This week WITT Te Pūkenga welcomed a 12-strong teacher delegation from the architecture school of Huanggang Polytechnic College, located in the east of the Hubei province in China. The group is the first contingent of visiting international teachers to WITT since the borders re-opened.
“WITT has a long history of hosting international teaching delegations and we’re pleased to be opening our doors again and sharing our experiences of education delivery with our counterparts from a polytechnic college in China,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Academic Director Nita Hutchinson.
The eight-day visit is focused on the content and delivery of the New Zealand Diploma in Architecture Technology and includes class observations, workshops, meetings with industry and a site visit to Project Maunga, the hospital re-build project.
“While the visit is centred around architecture and construction we are using the opportunity to showcase our other programmes and the manaakitanga we are known for,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Director of Trades Training Primary and Creative Industries Daniel Fuemana.
Welcomed by a powhiri, the group have been guided through their stay in Taranaki by senior members of staff at WITT and experienced local culture, sights and a showcase of Taranaki food and beverage.
“Cultural exchanges are rewarding for everyone involved and the possibilities of how we can build on these relationships has the potential to be very exciting,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Interim Operations Co-Lead Allie Hemara-Wahanui.
Prior to the pandemic, Taranaki was a second home to nearly 1,000 international students, 750 of whom were tertiary students. In 2018, international education supported 330 jobs and contributed around $50 million to the economy in Taranaki. China is the largest source country of international students for New Zealand with almost 12,000 currently studying in the country.