More young people from the United States are to be given the opportunity to study in New Zealand with additional grants being offered from both nations.

Education New Zealand, which raises awareness of the country as a study destination is providing US $50,000 over the next two years to support the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Programme and the same amount will come from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in the US Department of State (ECA).

‘It will provide more US students with the opportunity to experience New Zealand’s high quality education system, when they wouldn’t otherwise be able to,’ said Paul Goldsmith,
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister.

He described the Gilman as a prestigious, competitive, and selective scholarship, aimed at students who might otherwise not have the opportunity to study abroad. It is promoted across the US, and more than 10,000 students apply for the 2,800 scholarships each year.

‘This arrangement will support our shared goal of growing the educational relationship between our two countries, and will also be invaluable in raising the profile of New Zealand as a world class international education destination,’ Goldsmith added.

New Zealand is currently the 22nd most popular destination for US students and they made up just 2% of international students coming to New Zealand in 2016. Since its inception in 2001 more than 78,000 US students have applied for one of 22,000 Gilman Scholarships to study abroad.

The scholarship allows students from poorer backgrounds studying at college or university on a tow year or four year course to spend time studying overseas and is administered by the Institute of International Education.

The students need to be accepted by an institution in New Zealand for at least four weeks or up to a year in a single academic year.

The new partnership was announced during the opening session of the NAFSA annual conference in Los Angeles. NAFSA is the world’s largest association dedicated to international education and exchange, and its annual conference is an important event for higher education institutions, stakeholders and governments from over 110 countries.

‘The Gilman Education New Zealand partnership is an affirmation of the strong cooperation between our two nations,’ said acting US Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Mark Taplin.

‘Through this partnership, American students who otherwise would likely not study or intern abroad will now have a deeper understanding of the global economy and global challenges that we face together. People to people interactions between Americans and New Zealanders promote cooperation with one of our closest allies,’ he added.

The Gilman scholarship has enabled over 24,000 economically disadvantaged American students to study or intern abroad, benefitting Americans from diverse backgrounds and institutions. Of the nearly 3,000 American undergraduate students supported in this exchange program each year, almost half are the first in their families to attend college.