A group of 35 high-achieving Indian university students have started their studies at universities throughout New Zealand under a new scholarship programme.

The New Zealand Excellence Award programme was established in 2016 and is a partnership between Education New Zealand and Universities New Zealand. The programme aims to grow high-quality education connections with India that raise New Zealand’s profile and contribute to the skills shortage India is facing.

This is the second round of New Zealand Excellence Award recipients. The 35 awards represent a total scholarship pool of NZ$175,000, with each scholarship worth NZ$5,000.

The 35 students are enrolled at all eight of New Zealand’s universities, and are studying design or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Their courses range from analytics, accounting, and information security and digital forensics to veterinary science.

“The awards give talented and ambitious young Indian students the chance to undertake specialist study in New Zealand – an experience that will help set them apart in the increasingly competitive global job market,” says Grant McPherson, Chief Executive of Education New Zealand.

Chris Whelan, Chief Executive of Universities New Zealand points out that all eight New Zealand universities are ranked within the top 500 universities globally.

“So these awards offer the students the opportunity to undertake high-quality study in New Zealand.

“These 35 students will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience which they will take home with them, along with the skills and knowledge they gain from their qualifications.”

McPherson says international students such as these awardees enriched New Zealand’s campuses and communities and are potential ambassadors for New Zealand.

“As their careers advance, they will contribute to ongoing academic and research linkages as well as potential trade, investment and diplomatic activity between New Zealand and India over many years.

“A positive international education experience is a powerful motivator for future dealings.”

The number of international students at New Zealand universities has increased 12 percent between 2013 (23,410 students) and 2016 (26,231 students).

Several of the second round of New Zealand Excellence Award recipients have already become Kiwi ambassadors for Education New Zealand. This involves the students sharing their experience via ENZ’s social media channels such as YouTube, Instagram and Twitter throughout their time here.

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