New Delhi : Hundreds of students, clutching brochures and study certificates, thronged the day-long New Zealand Education Fair held in the capital Sunday.
Parents with their children, groups of school-going teenagers and graduates sauntered through the stalls put up by 25 participating institutions and universities.
“I am here with my father and sister. I have brought along all relevant documents. I want to do a business management or accounts course. I like what I have seen here – I am definitely going if I get through – and they (the universities) say I qualify,” said Neha Mehta, a first year B.Com student.
Neha, a resident of Ghaziabad, said she thought New Zealand was full of opportunity, and that she had worked out a basic plan with her agent here.
“I feel that New Zealand can offer me great prospects, I can even work there initially,” she said.
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NTZE) and Education New Zealand Sunday organized the education fair in the capital hoping to woo Indian students with its niche set of courses and “study – leisure environment”. The fair will also be held in Chandigarh April 7.
Many present appeared amazed that New Zealand, perceived mainly as a tourist destination, could be an education provider interested in Indians students.
NZTE officials said that in the year 2005 there where 2,000 Indian students in New Zealand. The numbers have increased to 6,000 students as of March 2009.
“With the interest we have seen here I am sure the numbers could double this year,”Cliff Fuller, New Zealand’s trade commissioner in Delhi told IANS.
“Mostly the interest generated is via word of mouth. We have many students from Punjab. Even in other parts of the country we have a great response,” Fuller added.
Fuller said that Indian students were mostly interested in business and IT related courses, travel, hospitality and media and design.
“Education visas for New Zealand are fairly easy to get. In fact since most of the universities and institutes there communicate with students via our 21 local agents in India – the process of application is very simple,” Jugnu Roy, NZTE business development manager, said.
The fair also drew a lot of interest in niche courses like viti culture (wine tasting), hospitality management, plant science and horticulture, food technology and sports management.
While New Zealand hardly offers any scholarships, officials said that low student living costs and higher standard of living in New Zealand will attract scholars from India.