New Zealand’s education ties with India continue to be strengthened after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed in New Delhi to establish a New Zealand Centre at the Indian Institute of Technology. 

The MoU seeks to affirm the position of the newly established New Zealand Centre to be a focal point of academic activity for all eight New Zealand Universities and IIT Delhi. 

Notably, IITs are India’s premier technology and public research institutes and are deemed as Institutes of National Importance and Institute of Eminence by the country’s parliament for their leading role in preparing world-class skilled engineering graduates. 

IIT Delhi in this regard, has the highest world ranking. 

The status of Institution of Eminence by Government of India (2018) had granted almost-full autonomy, leaving the institutes to make its own decisions, including having the autonomy to going global. 

Since then, there has been a newfound collective will within all IITs to become a truly global world-class technology institute. 

Recently, The IITs have collectively decided to conduct their joint entrance exam in San Francisco to attract students of Indian origin from 2020. 

IITs collectively and individually are now going to countries like Canada, Australia, the US, Germany and UK to hire faculty. 

Prof. Jenny Dixon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Engagement), University of Auckland, with Prof. Ashok Kumar Ganguli, Deputy Director (Strategy & Planning), IIT Delhi

On-going collaboration with NZ

In this regard, IIT’s foray in the New Zealand Market and the vice-versa, NZ University’s interest in forging ties with India’s premier technology institutes is not altogether new. 

Earlier in November 2019, The University of Auckland had signed a historic agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur to offer a joint PhD programme.

 Meanwhile, the two-day workshop, held at IIT Delhi, provided an opportunity for academics from NZ universities and IIT Delhi to discuss and develop projects for long term research collaboration. 

Collaboration priorities under discussion include sustainable cities, technologies for clean water, cybersecurity and data science, energy and environmental studies, and advanced biological and healthcare systems and engineering.

Speaking more on IIT Delhi’s partnership with NZ University Prof. Sanjeev Sanghi, Dean – Alumni Affairs and International Programmes, said “The NZ Centre embodies our efforts to embrace internationalization, open up opportunities for new research collaborations and increase global exposure for our students. We look forward to collaborating more with universities from NZ.”

 Professor Jennifer Dixon, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Strategic Engagement), University of Auckland led the New Zealand delegation and spoke at the MoU signing, “This is a significant step in New Zealand’s long-term education relationship with India. 

“We are delighted to be engaging with IIT Delhi as the ideal partner to progress our research collaborations,” she said. “We are dedicated to creating future global citizens, and we look forward to the development of leading-edge research through the association,” Prof Dixon said.