New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

The Ambassador's Blog: Burgeoning Education Relations

Minister Joyce in Indonesia

I’ve written a few blogs on the education theme, but thought an update on some work streams might be worthwhile.

From the Ambassador's Blog: http://blogs.mfat.govt.nz/david-taylor/burgeoning-education-relations/

We’re deepening our engagement with Indonesia at the institution to institution level.  Some 18 agreements between institutions have been finalised over the past year or so.  In recent weeks, the University of Auckland has just completed new agreements and engaged with some other potential partners as well.  Last week, Victoria University of Wellington signed a new agreement with Universitas Indonesia which will pave the way for a joint business degree.

Through the aid programme, New Zealand recently launched an innovative project with Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta called CaRED (Community Resilience and Economic Development).  This will support activities implemented by UGM in partnership with New Zealand and Indonesian organisations, universities, local governments and the private sector.  It builds on a long history of collaboration between New Zealand and UGM.  Early approved initiatives include community based enterprise development in Murotai Island, Maluku; geothermal energy research, training and capacity development in Eastern Indonesia working with New Zealand partners; and local community capacity building around natural disaster risks in small islands, complementing existing aid cooperation with Indonesia.   We’re investing around NZ$3 million (Rp 29billion) over the next four years in the CaRED project.

Also through the aid programme we are currently implementing training on disaster risk management, building capability in key quarantine facilities around Indonesia, and similarly in Indonesia’s state-owned geothermal company, PGE.  Plans to support up to 7,000 dairy farmers in Java and Sumatra are nearing completion and the next round of 50 postgraduate aid scholarships is open (closing date 22 April – please open the following link for more info on our scholarship programme.

We’re eager to build stronger relationships with Indonesians who have studied in New Zealand too.  Auckland University Vice Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon’s recent visit provided a great opportunity to connect with over 100 alumni from that institution.  More events are planned.

And we had what I think were our best education fairs yet in Surabaya and Jakarta with large numbers of Indonesian families and prospective students coming to check out what is on offer.  New Zealand’s Minister of Tertiary Education Stephen Joyce opened the Jakarta fair and connected with the 32 institutions involved, as well as meeting some of the visitors to the fair. 

The fairs underlined the reality that New Zealand offers some of the best education in the world (all of our 8 universities are ranked in the world top 400 and our education system at all levels has long been highly regarded and rated), in a safe and friendly environment at competitive cost.

So whether the links are between institutions, capacity building through the aid programme, around people that have already studied in New Zealand or our efforts to invite more Indonesians to study in New Zealand, there’s a lot of work going on.  There’s also a strong commitment from New Zealand’s education sector, from government agencies and from business to doing more with Indonesia.

If this were a report card, I’d say we’re making good progress (but can still do better!) and the foundation that’s been built is now increasingly strong.

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