Fact-finding mission to China

Taieri College principal David Hunter hopes to tap into the economic growth of China by attracting Chinese pupils to study in New Zealand schools.

He is one of 10 principals across the country selected to take a 10-day tour of education facilities in Beijing and Wuhan early next month.

Mr Hunter said the tour was heavily subsidised by the Confucius Institute at the University of Canterbury, and would allow principals to go to China and visit schools, universities and teacher training institutions to get an idea of what was happening in the Chinese education system.

He hoped to bring back a greater understanding of the needs of Chinese pupils and how they were educated.

He would also explore how New Zealand schools could offer something that could appeal to them and encourage them to study here.

''It's a fact-finding mission,'' Mr Hunter said.

''The economic growth of China is the most significant in our closest proximity and we would like to be part of that,'' he said.

''We would like to offer opportunities at some stage for Chinese students to study at Taieri College as international students.''

The tour would also be an excellent opportunity to build links with Chinese schools.

''It's topical, especially with the purpose-built Chinese school being mooted in Dunedin,'' Mr Hunter said.

''It's about getting on board and seeing what potential opportunities are out there, and getting Taieri College's name out there.''

The Otago Daily Times reported last month Chinese investors with plans for a $60million international school had chosen Dunedin as their preferred location, and hoped to open a facility within three years.

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