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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014
India and New Zealand pledge NZ$500,000 each for research
Harini Sriram, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 12, 2014
First Published: 10:58 IST(12/2/2014)
Last Updated: 11:15 IST(12/2/2014)

New Zealand is more than just its willowing mountains and captivating landscape. And if you have been dreaming of studying in the country, after watching the Lord Of The Rings trilogy on loop, read on.

To encourage education ties between India and New Zealand, a joint call for research proposals for Indian and New Zealand academics has been made by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and Education New Zealand (ENZ), a government agency that promotes education in New Zealand.

This is the first time that ENZ is working on a joint research grant. Under the India New Zealand Education Council (INZEC) framework, both countries have agreed to commit NZ$500,000 (over Rs. 25 crore) each.

The announcement made on the occasion of Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s national day that was celebrated recently, seeks to increase research collaboration across a range of areas including food security and agriculture, community development and innovation, health, environment and sustainability, to name a few.

Applications are open to research students and academic staff employed in a tertiary education institution or recognised centre of academic research in New Zealand, and all public education institutions in India which are eligible to be funded by UGC. The maximum funding available for each project from each funding body is the equivalent of NZ$50,000 and this may cover expenses for project-related consumables (up to a maximum of 15% of the total project budget), equipment (up to a maximum of NZ$2000), travel, accommodation, etc.

Applications should be submitted on or before 5pm, March 28, 2014. Send an email attachment to india@enz.govt.nz and ugcic2@gmail.com. The project starting date must be on or before June 1, 2014 and the project must be completed within 18 months.

As Ziena Jalil, regional director, ENZ, points out, “This call for proposals is part of the activity we undertake in India through the INZEC initiative which was announced by both our prime ministers in 2011. All New Zealand universities feature in the top 500 globally, and as a country, we are highly regarded internationally in areas such as agriculture and food processing, tourism, etc.”

New Zealand is emerging as a much sought-after higher education destination and India is the second largest contributor of international students to New Zealand (after China) with more than 11,000 students from India studying in New Zealand. Student visas issued to Indian nationals seeking to study in New Zealand increased by more than 10% last year, and more than doubled in the month of December 2013, making India one of the fastest growing student markets for New Zealand. It is also not an expensive option, with the cost of living for students around NZ$15,000 a year.

Michael Appleton, New Zealand’s acting high commissioner to India, says, “Education is a growing and exciting component of our bilateral relationship, with the number of Indian students in New Zealand increasing almost 200% since 2007. I’m delighted that this new initiative will see Kiwi and Indian researchers working side-by-side and contributing to knowledge creation in both our countries.”

In order to encourage more Indian students, New Zealand has also made changes to its work and visa policies for international students. According to Nathanael Mackay, area manager, Immigration New Zealand, “We have increased the number of work hours our international students are entitled to. All tertiary level international students enrolled in a course with at least one academic year will be allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during each semester break/vacation.”
 
For more details on research proposals, visit  http://www.victoria.ac.nz/hppi/centres/new-zealand-india-research-institute or http://www.ugc.ac.in/ugc_ic.aspx  

I’m delighted that this new initiative will bring Kiwi and Indian researchers together and help in knowledge creation ---Michael appleton, new zealand’s acting high commissioner to india


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