Polytechnic University was the first in Russia to sign a partnership agreement with a university in New Zealand

18 May 2020 International activities 521

What do you know about New Zealand? That more than 16 thousand kilometers are between our countries; that when it is evening in Petersburg, in Wellington, it is early morning. Or, for example, that kiwi birds live there and anyone can visit the village of the fabulous Hobbits, that winter lasts there from June to August, while summer is from December to February, and the landscapes there are breathtaking. And that New Zealand is the only country where all country’s universities are among the top 450 world universities according to the British QS Company (QS World University Rankings) and the top 600 universities according to the British educational journal THE (Times Higher Education).

SPbPU and New Zealand University IPU New Zealand signed a cooperation agreement. Photo IPU New Zealand

The development of academic cooperation with this region attracted many universities in Russia, and just recently, a real breakthrough has happened in the relations between our countries: according to the information of the Kiwi Education Educational Agency, Peter the Great Polytechnic University became the first Russian university to conclude a cooperation agreement with a New Zealand university, namely IPU New Zealand. Neither self-isolation, nor remote work, nor time zones could hinder that: in early May, the parties signed a framework agreement on online cooperation.

“This is a new, and so far the first region, which Polytechnic University has come to online. We try to make maximum use of all the opportunities that our teams have got in connection with the transition to remote mode. For several months, Polytechnic University and IPU New Zealand have been discussing a format for collaboration via video link. Despite the distances and time differences, we clearly see the prospects for the development of joint projects and international educational programs. And, of course, we will be glad if other universities of New Zealand join the SPbPU partner network,” pointed out SPbPU Vice Rector for International Relations D.G. ARSENYEV.

Polytechnic University has perfect prerequisites for developing cooperation with universities in New Zealand: in the near future, SPbPU will sign partnership agreements with several other universities in the Maoris’ country. Colleagues from New Zealand are interested in SPbPU international educational programs and the biggest in Russia project of international summer and winter schools. In its turn, Polytechnic University is interested in developing double degree programs, scientific cooperation, and in TESOL language courses for students and teachers. Given the distance between our countries, the importance of distance technologies for efficient collaboration can hardly be overestimated.

“The development of relations between Polytechnic University and the universities of New Zealand took start at the annual exhibition and conference of the Asia-Pacific Association of International Education APAIE. Then the International Services team established contacts with Serge NAIRI, development director of the Kiwi Education, the leading accredited operator of the educational market in New Zealand. We actively corresponded, and were supposed to meet with him and colleagues from New Zealand universities at APAIE 2020 in Vancouver, but the coronavirus pandemic recalibrated everything. I emphasize that these were no more than adjustments: we continue to develop cooperation, and plan to sign a series of partnership agreements in this region,” commented the Head of the Department of International Educational Programs and Academic Mobility Olga EMELYANOVA.

Prepared by SPbPU International Services. Text: Olga DOROFEYEVA

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