University of Auckland to help New Zealanders become more Asia-savvy with new Asia-Pacific centre

09 March 2017

The University of Auckland welcomes the Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith’s announcement to invest in three Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs) hosted or set up in collaboration with the University.

Led by the University of Auckland in partnership with the University of Otago, the University of Waikato and the Victoria University of Wellington, the North Asia CAPE, will specialise in North Asia and covers China, Japan and Korea.  This CAPE reinforces the University of Auckland’s considerable regional links with Asia.

The CAPEs programme is a Government initiative for the development of Asia-Pacific knowledges and language skills in New Zealand, and the enhancement of economic, trade, political and cultural relationships with the region.

Deputy-Vice Chancellor (Strategic Engagement), Professor Jenny Dixon says: “North Asia is a natural area of strength for the University and this CAPE will complement our leading institutes and centres with a focus on the region.  In particular, the University has been building bridges with China for nearly two decades and we look forward to strengthening New Zealanders’ knowledge and skills to deal with this region more effectively.”

In addition, the University is a partner in the remaining two CAPEs focused on South-East Asia and Latin America which will be hosted by Victoria University. 

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Jim Metson adds: “The CAPEs present a significant and exciting opportunity to deepen engagement between NZ and key regions.  As New Zealand’s leading research-based University, we are delighted to able to build stronger collaborations with institutions in the regions of all three CAPEs.  We look forward to working in a consortium with other universities on this exciting initiative.”

The Government has allocated $34.5 million over four years to develop CAPEs in New Zealand universities as part of the Innovative New Zealand package in Budget 2016.

The University of Auckland existing North Asian centres and institutes include:

  • The Confucius Institute, a non-profit public institute jointly established by the University of Auckland, Fudan University in Shanghai and the Office of Chinese Language Council International, based in Beijing.
  • The New Zealand Asia Institute: Established in 1995, the NZ Asia Institute aims to support and promote the development of multidisciplinary research programmes on Asia in partnership with other national and international institution.  The institute currently has four area research centres: China Studies Centre; Japan Studies Centre; Korean Studies Centre; and Southeast Asian Studies Centre.
  • The New Zealand Centre at Peking University was launched in May 2007 as a joint initiative by the University of Auckland and Peking University, Beijing.  The centre promotes the study of New Zealand in China and contributes to strengthening the long-existing ties between the two countries and two internationally-respected universities.
  • Last year, the University’s knowledge transfer company, Auckland UniServices Ltd, established a new Innovation Institute in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.  The Innovation Institute China (UAIIC) aims to provide unprecedented access to an extensive range of networks, research and funding opportunities in China.



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