A reflection of growing relations between India and Canterbury

In a sign of growing significance of educational and business links between the renamed Ara Institute of Canterbury and India, seven students from the Kumaraguru College of Technology (KCT), Coimbatore, India, visited Ara Institute of Canterbury last month to study New Zealand business. Christchurch and Aoraki Polytechnics merged in March-end to form Ara Institute of Canterbury as the region's new vocational educational provider with campuses in Christchurch and Timaru.

The visit came just weeks after a memorandum of understanding was signed between AIC and KCT by AIC's business department head Teresa Schwellnus.

“India has the world's second largest population and offers huge potential for business opportunities. It is important for students to be able to explore each other's countries and discover these opportunities and establish networks themselves. The two-week visit by the business students gave them the opportunity to study New Zealand business practices, our economy and entrepreneurship,” noted AIC's International Director Beth Knowles.

As a follow-up, some AIC staff members will be travelling to India in coming months to further develop the relationship for the engineering and computing departments with KCT including exploring some joint research opportunities.

Notably, early this year, six students from AIC visited Jaipuria Institute of Management, one of the top private business management schools in India located near New Delhi, on a similar two-week study tour programme.

One of those who went to India was AIC's Bachelor of Applied Management student Matthew McPherson. Recounting his experience, Matthew said, “I learnt about the Indian culture. And most importantly, the understanding of the wealth gap there made me realise the opportunities that exist for businesses to be socially responsible and help in alleviating poverty.”

AIC's students’ tour included classes, industry visits, and cultural activities.

"CPIT Aoraki and Jaipuria are collaborating to increase international opportunities for students of both institutions. Last year we hosted a group of Jaipuria students, and this opened up an opportunity for our students to visit India. Our focus was for students to experience Indian businesses and industries first-hand and gain credits towards their respective qualifications,” informed Schwellnus.