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July 26, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Victoria University bridges the gap to the Great Wall of China

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A new scholarship has been introduced to Victoria University, with the aim of helping students to better understand China.

The James Bertram scholarships have been funded by businessman Rodney Jones and his wife Sanjini Jesudason, who hope to improve the relationship between New Zealand and Chinese students.

“We want young New Zealanders to engage with China, to understand the culture and connect with the Chinese leaders of tomorrow.”

Jones, an investment banker who was previously a partner in the Soros Fund (Asia), understands first-hand the importance of having a knowledge of the country.

“A greater awareness of China is essential for New Zealand in the 21st century.”

There will be two James Bertram scholarships offered every year, with each worth up to $50,00.

These will provide two students with funding for a year’s study at Victoria, followed by six months’ language tuition in Beijing and then a year studying at Beijing’s Peking University.

After completing their studies, students will graduate with a double Masters in International Relations (Victoria University) and Public Policy (Peking University).

The scholarships are named after James Bertram, the late academic from Victoria University, who was fascinated with China after visiting the country.

As a journalist for The Times, Bertram also had the chance to interview Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong.

Victoria’s Vic-Chancellor Pat Walsh described the scholarships to Peking University as an exciting opportunity for students.

“I’m delighted students will be able to experience firsthand one of the most significant nations that New Zealand will interact with now and in the years ahead.”

International Relations students at Victoria are interested in the chance to apply for the scholarships.

“It is a fantastic opportunity for all Pols and International Relations students… I look forward to finding out more about it,” said one student.

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