Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs)

Who applies? Universities Fund focus: Capability funding, Research
Status: Ongoing Agreed through? Contract (off Plan)

The Government has allocated $34.5 million over four years to develop new Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs) in New Zealand universities as part of the Innovative New Zealand package in Budget 2016.

CAPEs will further develop New Zealand’s Asia-Pacific rim knowledge and language skills, facilitating collaboration between tertiary education providers and stakeholders to enhance our partnerships with the Asia Pacific region. CAPEs will be cross-institutional centres of excellence, in the language, culture, politics and economics of countries or groups of countries within the Asia-Pacific region.

Three CAPEs will be set up initially, and be based in universities around the country. 

These CAPEs will specialise in countries or groups of countries in North Asia, South East Asia and Latin America. Each CAPE will develop strong linkages with its region of specialty, facilitate student and faculty exchanges, and become a focal point for New Zealand’s relationship with that part of the world. CAPEs will also train language-capable graduates for New Zealand exporters, MFAT, and other government agencies with posts offshore.

Once established the CAPEs Fund will be allocated in accordance with the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment’s funding mechanism issued under section 159L of the Education Act 1989. Funding from the CAPEs Fund will be determined through a fully contestable process and allocated and monitored through a funding arrangement with the TEC.


The TEC will allocate funding for the CAPEs through a Request for Funding Applications (RFA) process. We are holding workshops with stakeholders through to the end of September, which will help us finalise the detailed requirements for the RFA. 

We expect the RFA to be released in October 2016, and for CAPEs to be operating from mid-2017.

Find out more

If you have any questions in the meantime you can contact your Investment Manager or email CAPEs@tec.govt.nz. You can also:

  • Last changed: 19 September 2016
  • Last verified: 19 September 2016