A Wellington business delegation to China led by Wellington City Mayor, Tory Whanau, has seen more than 20 meetings held over four days to promote education, film, gaming and Māori business.
Mayor Whanau was joined by 26 delegates, among them representatives from Massey University, Te Herenga Waka Victoria University of Wellington, Samuel Marsden school, the Phoenix Football Academy, Screen Wellington, Floating Rock Studio, film producers, E2E (Education to Employment) Centre, Te Āti Awa and Wellington City Council staff.
Education has played a starring role in the trip, with visits to four schools and universities, and a pitch session to JJL, the leading education agent in China, which was live-streamed to hundreds of agents around the country.
During the visit, Massey University signed a new letter of intent with Xiamen University, which will aid Chinese film students to complete their studies in Wellington at Massey’s new Academy of Screen Arts.
Acting Massey Pro-vice Chancellor Oli Wilson says the relationship between the two schools and other Chinese universities is of significant strategic importance in attracting Chinese students to New Zealand.
“Wellington’s internationally-renowned film industry makes studying film here a highly attractive proposition. Massey’s new academy will also help Chinese students diversify their studies into other areas of the screen industry,” he said.
Mayor Whanau said Wellington’s universities had asked for Council’s help to promote the city as a study destination.
“China is Aotearoa New Zealand’s top international student market, with international students annually contributing more than $5 billion to our economy pre-Covid. I wanted to make it a top priority for this trip,” she said.
During the trip, Mayor Whanau also signed updates to Wellington’s sister-city relationships with Xiamen and Beijing. These MOUs are a crucial part of getting the support of the Chinese municipal government to make the right, valuable introductions to Chinese organisations.