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Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) has just signed a deal with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) Sri Lanka, which could see more international students studying business at NMIT from 2015.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November is the first of its kind between CIMA Sri Lanka and a New Zealand tertiary institution. It confirms the relationship between CIMA Sri Lanka and NMIT and provides a streamlined pathway for CIMA Professional Members and exam completed students from Middle Eastern, South Asian and North African (MESANA) countries for entry into selected NMIT business programmes. The agreement was facilitated by immigration advisory company Pro X Ltd, which has its headquarters in Wellington, New Zealand, and a branch office in Sri Lanka.
Under the agreement, CIMA professional members and exam completed students in Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives and Dubai can study NMIT programmes such as Graduate Diplomas in Professional Accounting, Marketing or Management or the Postgraduate Diploma in Business Enterprise. NMIT will recognise their CIMA professional qualification as equivalent to degree level study.
NMIT Chief Executive Tony Gray said the agreement was a fantastic opportunity which would benefit all parties.
"We're very proud to be partnering with the Sri Lankan office of CIMA, one of the world's largest organisations for management accountants and Pro X Ltd, who will look to ensure that students and their families get the right type of entry information to come to New Zealand.
"At NMIT we're committed to internationalisation. It's not just about student numbers, it's about making sure that the sort of students we recruit and the organisations we partner with, are relevant to our region and that we're providing a global set of outcomes for students".
Bradley Emerson, Regional Director of CIMA Middle East, South Asia and North Africa (MESANA) said "The biggest challenge for business in the future is having the right talent – people who are competent and confident.
"We see this agreement as an appropriate initiative for the youth-populated MESANA Region. It's a window of opportunity for CIMA members and exam completed students to equip themselves with an internationally recognised academic and professional qualification.
"What makes this agreement stand out is that the students are allowed to work and take their spouse who also can work. We are thankful to NMIT for coming up with this option for CIMA members and exam completed students".
CIMA, which is based in the UK and was founded in 1919, is the world's largest and leading professional body of management accountants with more than 218,000 members and students operating in 177 countries. Outside of the UK, the Sri Lanka division is the largest office and is the Regional office for Middle East, South Asia and North Africa (MESANA). CIMA Sri Lanka has an active student base of 18,000 and 2,000 full members. In Sri Lanka, 40% of the heads of top corporations amongst a wide range of industries are CIMA qualified. Boards and corporate management of leading companies have a minimum 25% CIMA presence.
Asoka Weerasundara, Chairman of Pro X Ltd said "Pro X is proud to be part of this fantastic agreement. The Sri Lankan population is hungry for education. Being a New Zealand company we have seen the high quality of education on offer in New Zealand and we are happy to make this connection and build a bridge for CIMA members.
"Pro X Ltd is an Education New Zealand-trained agent headed by a licensed immigration advisor which allows us the unique position to help not only students but also their families".
The MOU signing event was attended by Tony Gray – Chief Executive, NMIT; Bradley Emerson – Regional Director MESANA, CIMA; Radley Stephen – Country Head Sri Lanka, CIMA; Asoka Weerasundara – Chairman, Pro X Ltd; Shailaja Vora – Market Development Manager, Education New Zealand, New Zealand Consulate General; Michael Appleton – Deputy High Commissioner, New Zealand High Commission and Senaka de Silva – Honorary Consulate.
It is expected that the first CIMA members from MESANA countries will begin to take advantage of this new partnership by joining NMIT business programmes in mid-2015.