Whitireia has maintained a close relationship with Changsha City in China since contact was made last year. Chief executive Deirdre Dale visited a number of places in China with the aim of fostering relationships between the polytechnic and educational institutions in four Chinese cities.
Educationalists in Changsha, Hunan province, were immediately receptive to the invitation to link with Whitireia. Although China has a strong tertiary education system, there are limited places available to students, making the possibility of completing an education in New Zealand a viable alternative for many young Chinese people.
The English language programmes offered by Whitireia provide international students with the oppurtunity to prepare for further study here and elsewhere in New Zealand. Many of them choose subjects such as computing and business.
The connection with Changsha works both ways, and has enabled some New Zealand teachers the opportunity to work in China.