Filipino education consultant meets with PHL Ambassador for educational links between the Philippines and New Zealand
As the Philippine Embassy continues to promote people-to-people ties and educational links between the Philippines and New Zealand, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez met with Dr. Cecilia F. Aquino, Academic Manager, Affiliate, Institute of IT Professionals and Director, MAC Phils Consulting Ltd. NZ and CF Aquino Consultancy and Management Services Phils in Auckland on 8 March 2014 to discuss the education system in New Zealand, the pathways for greater educational exchange and the first ever project on collaborative delivery of programmes between educational institutions of the Philippines and New Zealand.
Dr. Aquino who has been in New Zealand for thirteen years now is instrumental in arranging an educational delivery link between AMA Computer University in the Philippines and WHITIREIA Community Polytechnic in New Zealand. Mr. Paul McGuiness, Deputy CEO, WHITIREIA Community Polytechnic and Dr. Alma V. Dela Cruz, Vice-President for Academic Affairs of AMA Computer University signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) on September 2013 in Manila. According to Dr. Aquino, the proposed Partnership on International Pathway Programme will enable students to gain credit from their study in a diploma or degree programme at AMA Computer University into a specified diploma or degree programme at Whitireia Community Polytechnic with the first year to be done in the Philippines and the remaining part to be conducted in New Zealand. At present, the academic teams of both educational institutions are cross checking the subjects being offered and other detailed terms and conditions in accordance with immigration and education laws and policies of both countries. Ambassador Benavidez suggested the inclusion of studies and training on animation, multi-media and gaming which could open up huge opportunities for students from the Philippines and New Zealand in this vital area. Teacher training, staff development and student exchanges are also being considered. A Memorandum of Agreement to replace the MOI is set to be signed in Manila on April 15, 2014 and another one in Wellington thereafter to be witnessed by New Zealand Ambassador Reuben Levermore and Philippine Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez, respectively, together with officials from Education NZ and Immigration NZ. “This is another milestone development in Philippines-New Zealand relations as the Agreement between AMA and WHITIREIA will be the first of its kind to be undertaken by both countries. Education is a priority area of cooperation given the importance of fostering human resources development between Filipinos and New Zealanders,” Ambassador Benavidez stated.
After extensive discussions on the educational system in New Zealand and the various pathways and skills upgrading open to Filipinos, Ambassador Benavidez thanked Dr. Aquino for her laudable initiatives and vital contributions to lifting the level of cooperation in the education sector and her continuing support for the Embassy’s collaborative efforts to promote mutually beneficial educational collaboration and greater interaction and understanding between Filipinos and New Zealanders.