Whitireia forms Philippines partnership

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Next month (8 May) Whitireia Community Polytechnic will sign a partnership agreement with a Philippines women’s college to work together on early childhood education.

The agreement between Whitireia and Quezon City’s Miriam College will allow student and teacher exchanges and collaboration on research and training. Miriam College is a Catholic institution teaching women and girls from pre-school through to tertiary level.

Whitireia chief executive Don Campbell says academic co-operation with the Philippines is a new venture for the polytechnic and very exciting. "It shows that early childhood education is an area in which New Zealand providers can develop innovative solutions for the international market," he says.

Don Campbell says New Zealand’s approach to early childhood education was widely-respected, and Whitireia puts a high priority on producing top quality, versatile graduates able to work anywhere in the world.

Kaye Jujnovich, Associate Dean of Health, Education and Social Science, says professors from Miriam College are planning to visit Whitireia towards the end of the year.

With the contract signed, Kaye and Whitireia International Director Paul Bryant will then travel to the Philippine’s second biggest city, Cebu, to take part in an international education fair on May 12, organised in association with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Immigration New Zealand. The fair, aimed at high schools, will showcase courses on offer in New Zealand in computing and information technology, nursing and health sciences, service industries and trades, business studies and teaching.

The Philippines partnership is part of a new push by Whitireia into South-east Asia. At present, the polytechnic is hosting 19 teachers from a university in Thailand and is looking at hosting 25 trainee teachers from Vietnam next month.

The Thai teachers are from Rajabhat University in Buri-ram in the north-east of Thailand. They are spending two weeks on professional development courses at Whitireia and their trip includes visits to schools and government agencies. Their visit follows a trip to Thailand last year by Paul Bryant and Whitireia tutor Gaye Wall, a Thai national.

Whitireia has been asked by Polytechnics International New Zealand to cost a project to host the Vietnamese trainees in mid-May.