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Free Trade Brings Chinese Scholars To New Zealand

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Education New Zealand: Media Release 17/07/09

"New Zealand is the first Western country to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China, and we're thrilled that one of the early results of that agreement is an exchange of doctoral scholarships," says Robert Stevens, CEO of Education New Zealand.

As a result of the China-New Zealand FTA signed last year, up to ten doctoral research students per year from each country will be granted government-funded scholarships to study in the other country. The first Chinese students chosen to participate in the New Zealand - China Doctoral Research Scholarships Programme are now beginning their studies in New Zealand.

Yanwei Tan has recently arrived at the University of Otago, where he will be completing a PhD in English Literature.

"People here are very friendly and I've started to enjoy life here, though still with a measure of intermittent homesickness," he says.

Lincoln University in Canterbury has welcomed two Chinese doctoral students on the scholarship. Guo Yang is beginning his doctoral research in Molecular Biology. He will be finding better ways to detect "footrot" in sheep. Linlin Liu, Lincoln's other scholarship recipient, will be researching the effects of UVB radiation on grapevines.

Arthur Chen will be researching linguistics at the University of Auckland. Arthur admits he has "an unquenchable thirst for the knowledge of language", and is excited about the opportunity to pursue his studies in New Zealand.

"We've been hosting Chinese students in New Zealand for many years now, but the FTA and this subsequent Scholarship Programme are a very positive development. These students will return to China with a globally recognised PhD and we hope that their experiences in New Zealand will be an inspiration to others," says Robert Stevens.

The New Zealand - China Doctoral Scholarship Programme is funded by the governments of New Zealand and China. Education New Zealand administers the Programme for Chinese students coming to New Zealand, and the New Zealand Vice Chancellors' Committee (NZVCC) administers the Programme for outbound New Zealand students going to China.

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