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  • Wellington celebrates international students

    The winners, who came from both secondary and tertiary level, included an award-winning documentary filmmaker, a star kapa haka performer, a co-founder of the New Zealand International Students Association and students excelling in rugby, basketball and rowing.

    They were selected from the following categories: academic excellence, alumni, arts and culture, community engagement, leadership and sport. Each winner received a trophy, certificate and tickets to a Wellington experience.

    WREDA’s Talent, Skills and Education Manager Brook Pannell said the students’ achievements reflected extremely well on the individuals but were also a great reflection of the wider Wellington region.

    "It not only speaks volumes about the students’ abilities and work ethics but also about the quality of education and mentorship they are receiving in Wellington,” he said.

    At the ceremony, guests were treated to a musical performance by local international student Sojeong Kim, a violin soloist from Wellington East Girls College, as well as a rousing performance from South Wellington Intermediate School’s Kapa Haka group. Well-known playwright and actor Jacob Rajan MNZM was guest speaker.

    IMG 4391 copy

    Kapa Haka group from South Wellington Intermediate School.

    Award Winners:

    Academic excellence

    • Vineet Kaur, Whitireia (India)
    • Yucen (Ethan) Wu, Wellington High School (China)

    Alumni category

    • Siang Lim, Victoria University of Wellington (Malaysia)
    • Yorke Yu, WelTec (China)

    Arts and culture

    • Yuki Sugito, Wainuiomata High School (Japan)
    • Maja Zonjic, Victoria University of Wellington (Croatia, Canada)

    Community engagement

    • Anis Emalin Madihah Mohd Nadzri, Victoria University (Malaysia)
    • Khang Phan, Massey University (Vietnam)

    Leadership

    • Dahee Sohn, Victoria University of Wellington (Korea)
    • Ravethi (Rae) Jeyakumar, Victoria University of Wellington (Singapore)

    Sports

    • Sam Walsh, Scots College (USA)
    • Amber Jiang, Queen Margaret College (China) 

    Click here for full details of the winners.

    The awards were developed as part of WREDA’s Wellington International Student Growth Programme (WISGP), which has a goal of doubling the number of international students arriving in Wellington by 2025.

  • Capability building in digital marketing

    Conducted by George Hernandez of the Higher Education Consulting Group, the interactive, full-day workshops focussed on optimising student recruitment through all the seven stages of conversion.

    Participants also assessed their internal marketing practices for each of the student conversion stages, from expression of interest to retention, and rated their practices against world standards.

    Deanna Anderson, ENZ’s Business Development Manager, said the audit and assessment of marketing practices was a valuable exercise for the workshops.

    “The assessment process was very useful for industry participants and helped spark some inspiration on tactics for new marketing plans for 2018,” she said.

    Susie Robinson, CEO of the Higher Education Consulting Group, said the workshops highlighted the diversity of New Zealand's international student market, and the dedication of professionals working in the sector.

    “A key benefit of the workshops was the realisation, for participants, that even small and cost-effective interventions can yield a big return when it comes to optimising the student recruitment pipeline.”

    The workshop received encouraging feedback from participants as well.

    “It was great that it [the workshop] took a holistic approach, looking at the whole student pipeline, and it really made you understand where your gaps are,” one participant wrote.

  • Cultural exchange in Colombia

    In 2017, I led a group of 12 Māori Studies and Māori Visual Arts students to Medellín, Colombia for LatinoAotearoa, a four-week cultural exchange where we shared food, song, dance and other cultural practices with the indigenous students at the University of Antioquia.

    The interactive programme involved weekly history lectures about the native peoples and settlement of Latin America, supported by weekly film viewings that gave a deeper insight into the future of Colombia’s indigenous people. Visits to downtown Medellin, including galleries and museums, parks and other public spaces, also helped our student know the city more intimately.

    Most of our students are bilingual speaking both English and Te Reo Māori, but after four weeks, all of them gained the confidence to converse comfortably in Spanish too.

    In return, Colombian students had the chance to improve their English skills, as well as learn Te Reo Māori. We also shared toi Māori (art), cooking, waiata (song), kapahaka (dance) and mau rākau (Maori weaponry skills) taught partly by our students. Our lecture on the journey of Te Reo Māori was particularly important, as Antioquia University is now in the first stages of introducing Colombian indigenous languages into their own curriculum.

    Colombian students mangōpare artistic pattern

    Colombian students gather for a lesson on the mangōpare artistic pattern.

    “Learning about different cultures and history, I have a new outlook on life now.”

    For New Zealand to successfully develop trade and business relationships we must first understand the history, culture and language of our partners. By immersing our students in Colombian culture, they gained valuable skills that can be used not only in Colombia but in wider Latin America.

    We also taught Colombians about how to work in a New Zealand context, understanding the values of Tangata Whenua and how these values influence New Zealand at a diplomatic, cultural, linguistic and trade level.

    Many students have already expressed a desire to return to Colombia and to continue learning Spanish. Māori Visual Arts lecturer Israel Birch said one of our Master’s students wants to return and work with the indigenous communities on her PhD project, and a staff member from the University of Antioquia is now looking at moving to Aotearoa to teach.

    Without a doubt, this trip contributed to the intellectual and personal growth of all members of the group. We can’t highlight enough how important this partnership has been.

    At the end of their journey, students shared what they enjoyed the most:

            “Learning about different cultures and history, I have a new outlook on life now.”
            “I am grateful for the time I spent here in Colombia. I’ve had the time of my life and I would recommend to everyone who gets the opportunity to take it.” 
            “I have really enjoyed how much we have been able to engage with everyday Latin American culture. The parceros (language buddies) have made it possible for us to experience social life with Latino friends. I also really enjoyed the history classes and the field trips which showed the history and development of the cities.”
            “I hope this scholarship will continue because this experience has enriched my life and I will return to New Zealand sharing how beautiful, strong, resilient and warm Colombians are.”
            “I have absolutely loved this trip, it has been a very amazing and humbling experience. I’m so thankful to have been given this opportunity.”
    Mural painted by Massey and Antioquia students

    A piece of Aotearoa in Colombia - a mural painted by Massey and Antioquia students.

  • Wintec celebrates 10 years of friendship with Shimane University

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

    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.

    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.”

    During their time at Wintec, the students will study nursing and medical education to get an overview of the health sector in New Zealand. This includes 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 will also take English language courses and live with local homestays. The group will also have a chance to tour around the Waikato region including weekend trips to Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Taupō.

    The relationship between the two institutions started 10 years ago through a staff exchange programme. Since 2010, Wintec has welcomed students from Shimane University for short-term training programmes every year.

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

  • Indonesia's school influencer training

    Some 250 participants were trained across two days in Jakarta, with another 100 participants trained in Surabaya. They included counsellors and principals from high schools, vocational schools and madrassah schools.

    Karmela Christy, ENZ’s Market Manager for Indonesia, said school counsellors and principals are crucial to the development of their students. With this in mind, ENZ held training sessions delivered by the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic.

    “This year’s programme was aimed at empowering counsellors and principals to support and prepare students for working lives that would need to adapt to rapid technological and social change,” said Karmela. 

    Surabaya OP speaker3

    Matthew Carter (Otago Polytechnic) trains school principals in Surabaya Four Pillar Leadership.

    “The sessions emphasised that the role of the counsellor is not merely about subject choices but also about character and the development of the right soft skills." 

    The annual programme, which was first delivered in 2016, is a partnership with Fortrust Education which supports the coordination of all activities with schools in Jakarta and Surabaya.

    This year, ENZ also partnered with Jakarta Capital City Government. Jakarta Vice Governor, Sandiaga Uno, as well as New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia, Trevor Matheson, were also involved.

    Group photo Indonesia2

    ENZ representatives, school counsellors and the Fortrust Education team together.

     

     

  • ATEED launches new Auckland strategy to guide visitor economy

    ATEED General Manager Destination, Steve Armitage, says while more visitors are good news economically, the growth comes with challenges. 

    “People travel to Auckland to experience the many things our region has to offer. For some, it’s the world-class food and wine; for others, it’s the sporting, cultural and business events; or international students, who come from around the world to study at our learning institutions,” said Steve.

    “It’s important that we continue to attract visitors to support and create jobs and amenities that benefit locals and visitors…so that Auckland is better off not just economically, but also socially and environmentally.”

    The strategy outlines six strategic imperatives and key focus areas, and a comprehensive list of actions to deliver these, with two directly relating to international education:

    -   A Captivating Place: A region that entices visitors to stay longer and that locals love more than ever. Actions include developing an international student visitor plan. 

    -   A Skilled Place: A region where more young men and women are choosing globally relevant careers in the visitor economy. Actions include developing a visitor sector training and employment strategy for youth and enhancing standards across the service sector.

    Destination AKL 2025 was guided by an industry leadership group, and involved extensive consultation including interviews, workshops and discussions, as well as international benchmarking and surveys.

    ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson, who was part of the industry leadership group, says that ATEED is showing real leadership in the way it is looking at its visitor plan.

    He said this is evident in the way the strategy is based around destination management and not just attraction. This should ensure visitors are acknowledged as an asset to the Auckland region – a perspective that will reflect positively on the experience visitors go on to have in Auckland.

    “International students are an important part of the visitor community and we are delighted that the strategy reflects this through the inclusion of an international student visitor plan.”

    "The strategy has involved significant cross-industry collaboration to get to this point, and the plan is to keep this going. We are very optimistic about the direction Auckland is heading in and are looking forward to working with Auckland to bring it to life.”

    Click here to read or download Destination AKL 2025.

  • Improving orientation programmes 

    At NZIEC 2018, a number of breakout sessions talked about the need to reconsider current approaches to orientation and student support in order to improve the student experience and increase their intercultural competence.

    Izzie Guo

    Izzie Guo

    In the Inspiring global citizens panel discussion: How can we make a difference? Izzie Guo, ChristchurchNZ’s Student Experience Coordinator talked about their Student Ambassador programme, and how positive student experiences are often shaped by the social and extracurricular space, not the academic.

    “Student Ambassadors are involved in events and activities around the city, some volunteer, some organise and MC big events like our Student Welcome. It’s a way to improve their interpersonal skills and make new friends. It helps them settle in and build connections,” said Izzie.

    Student Ambassadors are also the first connection that new international students make – they run the airport welcome and support orientations at institutions, welcoming and greeting new students in their own language, asking them about their home and breaking the ice.

    Education Tauranga has taken a similar approach. In Redefining orientation programmes, Anne Young talked about how Education Tauranga has redefined its orientation programme by holding events throughout the year to mitigate ‘culture shock’ and help students achieve a smooth transition to life and study in Tauranga.

    Education Tauranga

    Education Tauranga's international student orientation in February 2018

    “For most people, orientation means the first two weeks a student arrives, but that’s really an induction to their education provider and region. Orientation should go well beyond that, because the transition to a new setting takes more than two weeks.

    “The key is continual engagement. Throughout the year, you need to build relationships with international students and their families and show you have a continued offer.”

    AFS research supports this approach. In her presentation, Global competence development in international education: Tools to make it happen, Marcela Lapertosa, AFS Director of Education and Intercultural Learning, said skilled facilitation and regular reflection is the answer.

    Marcela Lapertosa

    Marcela Lapertosa

    “It is not enough to make one phone call to a student each month asking yes or no questions, “do you like your homestay,” “do you like your school” – there needs to be an attempt to unpack differences, challenges and perceptions.”

    AFS has undertaken research in this area to develop the AFS Student Learning Journey Curriculum, which includes a variety of one-on-one and group activities to help students reflect and understand their new surroundings and how best to navigate it.

    “For example, you could ask the student and their host family to draw a picture of the floorplan of their home and use questions to learn more about each other: Where does your family spend the most time? What does a closed door mean? Does it mean someone is mad at you, or that they want privacy?” This kind of exercise shows how different cultural values are reflected in a building and can help students and their host family understand one another,” said Marcela.

    “It can also make it easier for students to open up who are not natural reflectors, especially when done in a group with their homestay family or school peers.”

  • Wellington awards recognise inspiring students

    This year’s awardees came from intermediate, secondary and tertiary levels, and included the founder of a bilingual tutoring programme for international students, the founder of the Asian English-Speaking Club at Victoria University of Wellington and the official pianist at the 44th International Viola Congress.

    They were selected for a range of achievements from academic excellence, community engagement, to leadership and sport, with each winner receiving a trophy, certificate and tickets to a Wellington experience.

    MP Paul Eagle, WREDA CEO Lance Walker and WREDA’s Talent, Skills and Education Manager, Brook Pannell, were on hand at the ceremony, alongside a group from Wainuiomata High School and Kuranui College who performed Kapa Haka for the guests.

    Brook said he was thrilled to be on hand at the ceremony to acknowledge the achievements made by some of Wellington’s young talent.

    “International students make a powerful impact in their communities, and these awards reflect the great contributions they make in Wellington.

    “It’s a unique, modern and compact city where international students can feel at home, gain life skills in a safe city, and make friends.”

    Chinese international student Benjamin Lin, 18, received a Leadership Award for his achievements. As the youngest ‘authorised’ writer in his home country, he’s published two books and opened a writing school to raise money to study at Wellington High School.

    “Thanks to my father I loved reading and writing. My teacher at the time encouraged me to publish some of my poetry when I was around 10 in the form of a book. People really liked my work and it gave me the confidence to keep going,” says Benjamin.

    In 2015, Benjamin decided to progress his education in Wellington, and settled on Wellington High School. He funded his international study by tutoring students in writing.

    “I wanted to come to Wellington because it’s a smaller, modern city where I could improve my English.

    “In Wellington, I’ve appreciated having more time with my teachers and working on my English,” says Benjamin.

    Award winners:

    Academic excellence

    • Nam-Phuong Ho, Victoria University of Wellington (Viet Nam)
    • Yukiko Kuboshima, Victoria University of Wellington (Japan)
    • Khoi Nguyen, Te Aro School (Viet Nam)
    • Zihan Wang, Wellington Girls’ College (China)

    Alumni

    • Zilong Li, WelTec (China)

    Community engagement

    • Hanna Aulia, Victoria University of Wellington (Indonesia)
    • Ashley Cao, Victoria University of Wellington (Viet Nam)

    Creativity

    • Gabriela Glapska, New Zealand School of Music (Poland)

    Leadership

    • Benjamin Yin, Wellington High School (China)
    • Simran Bechan, Samuel Marsden Collegiate (Fiji)
    • Nur Natasha Faziera Mohd Fadzil, Victoria University of Wellington (Malaysia)

    Sports

    • Mohammad Zahirul Amin Mohd Azam, Victoria University of Wellington (Malaysia)

    Internationalisation

    • Samuel Mathew, Wellington College (New Zealand)
    • Jordan Anderson, Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand)

    Internationalisation Employer Award

    • InterContinental Hotel Group

    Click here for full details of the winners.

    The awards were developed as part of WREDA’s Wellington International Student Growth Programme (WISGP), which aims to double the number of international students arriving in Wellington by 2025, enhance the student experience and build pathways to employment in Wellington. 

  • Kiwi students become ambassadors in Beijing

    The students represented three cohorts from Massey University and the University Canterbury. Two of the groups were based at Peking University, while the other had been studying in Hangzhou.    

    This marks the second year in a row that PMSA groups have come together at a function at the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing.  

    New Zealand Ambassadorto China, Clare Fearnley, welcomed the visitors and provided an update on the China-New Zealand relationship. Other Embassy staff, representing a range of government agencies from the Ministry of Primary Industries to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade were present to talk to students about their roles and areas of interest. 

    ENZ Regional Director North Asia, Adele Bryant, said it provided a great opportunity to encourage the students to be ambassadors for New Zealand education during their stay in China. 

    “These students are ideally placed to help raise the profile of New Zealand education, as they are great examples of the kind of students we produce – independent thinkers, and creative, innovative and skilled young people.” 

    Massey University’s Head of the School of Humanities, Kerry Taylor, also believes in the value of the programmes to students, both now and in their future. 

    “The PMSA provides an opportunity for our high academic achievers to experience first-hand the dynamism and relevance of China to New Zealand,” said Kerry.  

    “Many will come back to do more study in China or develop business links with China that will contribute to New Zealand’s prosperity.”

    Massey PMSA group

    A PMSA group from Massey University at the New Zealand Centre, Peking University. The Massey students studied an intensive Chinese Language programme at PKU.

  • New Zealand alumni mentor prospective students in Korea

    On 5 June, the mentoring session in Seoul brought together 15 New Zealand-educated alumni who offered practical tips and advice to 55 prospective students interested in studying in New Zealand.

    ENZ worked with the Kiwi Alumni Group members, who volunteered to mentor students (with parents also in attendance) at the session.

    The mentoring session was held at the residence of the New Zealand Ambassador to South Korea, Philip Turner, who welcomed the students and alumni mentors.

    “The session was a great example of NZ Inc agencies working together and leveraging our networks. It was fantastic to see such strong interest in the session from students and parents,” Turner said.

    ENZ’s Senior Market Development Manager – Korea, Kay Lee, said she was pleased with the success of ENZ’s first mentoring event in Korea.

    “The session was a valuable opportunity for prospective students to mingle with New Zealand alumni and learn about their experiences of studying and living in New Zealand,” Kay said.

    “It was a way for prospective Korean students and parents to hear directly about authentic New Zealand experiences, and a meaningful way to engage closely with our alumni networks.”

    Two Korean speakers – a former student and the mother of a former student – addressed the meeting. Kiwi Alumni Group member, Susan Cho, spoke about how her New Zealand education experience positively influenced her career and life, while Sejin Oh, whose son studied in Tauranga for two years, talked about the value of a New Zealand education from a parent’s perspective.

    New Zealand alumni mentor prospective students in Korea 2

    Mentor Sejin Oh, who lived in New Zealand for her son’s education in Tauranga.

    The event also included a networking session, where attendees had the opportunity to ask alumni a range of questions about life and study in New Zealand.

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