Wintec celebrates 10 years of friendship with Shimane University

Shimane University students with Mark Flowers

Image: Mark Flowers (Wintec chief executive) and Jun Iwata (Shimane University professor - department of medical, social and cultural science) with Dr. Rie Sato and 18 Japanese nursing and medical students.

Eighteen Japanese nursing and medical students landed for the very first time in New Zealand for an academic trip to Wintec and a first-hand experience of Kiwi culture.

Accompanied by Pr. Jun Iwata and Dr. Rie Sato, they will undertake a two-week short study tour through Wintec’s Centre for Health and Social Practice and Centre for Languages.

The strong relationship between the two institutions started 10 years ago through a staff exchange programme. Every year since 2010, Wintec has welcomed students from Shimane University, Japan for short-term training programmes. Many students from Shimane University Faculty of Medicine have joined this programme to gain valuable experience.

Wintec international director Jason Matangi welcomed the visitors and spoke about the value of the relationship between Wintec and Japan.

“Maintaining international relations is essential for Wintec and for New Zealand. The 10-year anniversary is an important milestone in our relationship and is a recognition of our deep friendship and the regard with which we hold Shimane University and Japan.”

The group was welcomed with a pōwhiri at Wintec’s city campus where the students responded with traditional Japanese songs. Shortly after, Wintec chief executive Mark Flowers and Shimane University professor Jun Iwata, cut a celebration cake with the students.

During their time at Wintec, the students will study nursing and medical education to get an overview of the health sector in New Zealand. Wintec has organised academic visits to Waikato Hospital and Waterford Birth Centre, to allow the Japanese students to learn more about New Zealand practices. To complete the Kiwi experience, the students are also enrolled in English language courses and are accommodated in local homestays.

The group will also have a chance to discover tourist hotspots around the Waikato region including weekend trips to Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Taupō.

“New Zealand is popular overseas thanks to the beauty of its nature and landscapes and it has a reputation as a safe country with friendly people. These assets are particularly attractive for international students,” said Girish Nair, Wintec international business development director.

Wintec and Shimane University aim to enhance this mutual programme in the next few years.