A Middle Eastern airline with 30,000 employees has entered into a potentially priceless training agreement with Massey University.
A 15-strong group of pilots, engineers and managers from Qatar Airways are about to embark on a two-year MBA programme created by Massey after a year of talks.
School of aviation chief executive Ashok Poduval, who helped broker the deal, said the spin-offs of the agreement could be significant for the university and for New Zealand-Qatar relations.
An ongoing relationship with a company like Qatar Airways was priceless, Mr Poduval said.
"I was extremely pleased to get them on board because in the next two years or so their number of employees will grow to 45,000. They're already a major player in the Middle East and they are hiring 100 people a week, nearly.
"We'd like to think this will also be a pilot for offering other courses and degrees in the region, and I am confident that if this first programme is successful, Qatar Airways will send further cohorts of students in the future."
College of business associate pro vice-chancellor David Tweed will fly to Doha next week to orientate the students on the 15-paper course.
Lecturers from both the MBA programme and the school of aviation will then travel to Doha for five days at a time to deliver the contact courses, which will be supported by web-based learning.
The course contains all the essential components of a traditional MBA but with specialised topic papers and a research paper with an aviation focus.
In November next year and March 2015 the Qatari students would travel to Massey's Palmerston North campus for two of the papers, which would offer them a hands-on international learning experience, Mr Poduval said.
Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar al Baker said the Massey MBA offering was part of the airline's broader scholarship programme investing in local talent.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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