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Swedish students experience New Zealand at ACG
ACG has partnered with a number of private Swedish high schools as part of a sister-school project, which saw a group of Swedish students and teachers land in Auckland in mid-February for a New Zealand study experience.
The Swedish students are from the Swedish IT High Schools in Helsingborg, Gotheborg and Uppsala. During their three weeks in Auckland, the students have divided their time between ACG Senior College and ACG Yoobee School of Design – exploring practical study and pathway opportunities.
As well as experiencing the daily life of an Auckland student, the Swedes have also enjoyed a variety of activities, including day trips to Waiheke Island and Tiri Tiri Matangi Island.
Evelina Friman, from Gothenburg has enjoyed her experience, and said she would definitely recommend New Zealand to other students.
“The city, diversity and people are amazing. The teachers and the schools that we attended were great as well. The locals are very friendly and make you feel like part of the community.”
“I enjoyed ACG Yoobee School of Design the most – to have the opportunity to film in such beautiful nature is a blessing.”
Each year through a programme called Atlas, the Swedish government provides funding to high schools looking to establish international links with schools from around the world.
ACG’s Director of Marketing, International, Kim Harase, half Swedish herself, was quick to respond.
“For ACG, this is a great opportunity to develop an exchange with like-minded students and teachers from a country that shares many values with New Zealand, including a love of nature, respect for individuality and a commitment to interaction with the world,” said Kim.
Last year, ACG invited a group of Swedish teachers to Auckland and together developed the project to send the first Swedish students to ACG. Further visits from Swedish teachers and principals in 2016 saw interest grow in New Zealand as a study destination.
Olga Elli, ENZ’s Education Marketing Manager – Europe, said teachers and students in Sweden know New Zealand for its quality education system and lifestyle balance.
“Many Europeans view New Zealand as a place to learn both in and out of the classroom. The ‘adventure’ of study in New Zealand is what drives many Scandinavians to come here,” said Olga.
The students will head back to Sweden at the end of this week, but ACG is already planning to reunite them with their new Kiwi friends.
“The long-term plan is for New Zealand students and teachers to go to Sweden as part of a genuine two-way exchange,” said Kim.
“We are delighted with the experience and look forward to further expand the collaboration.”
Thai delegation visits New Zealand
In light of the Thai government’s new plan to develop a skilled workforce to meet industry demand, ENZ saw an opportunity to connect RMUT with New Zealand providers.
RMUT has a network of 40 campuses across Thailand, which are most similar to New Zealand ITPs. RMUT has a particular interest in customised, short-course training in New Zealand, and would like to see the establishment of an English language centre in Thailand.
The visit showcased New Zealand’s focus on practical skills and innovation in the classroom, with ENZ setting up meetings with Auckland University of Technology, Unitec, Air New Zealand Aviation Institute, Wintec, Wellington Institute of Technology, Whitireia Institute of Technology, Massey University, Otago Polytechnic and the University of Otago Language Centre.
Jaruwan Pongjaruwat, ENZ Programme Manager – Thailand, said the visit created a comprehensive understanding of New Zealand’s education system and fields of expertise.
“The RMUT group especially enjoyed the unique cultural experience and appreciated the welcoming and friendly New Zealand people.
“We visited some classrooms and they were able to see first-hand the practical learning environment.”
The visit is already showing positive results, with one RMUT president inviting selected New Zealand institutions to visit Thailand for further discussions.
Korean college adds Auckland to curriculum
From 2019, 120 Korean tertiary students from the college will come to Auckland each year, attending either the Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS), Academics College Group (ACG) or Cornell. They will spend 12 months gaining practical experience in the region as part of their three-year training course.
Koguryeo College teaches a range of courses in aviation, food science, natural energy, engineering, tourism and hospitality.
Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) International Education Manager Henry Matthews says the new partnership arose after ATEED hosted a group of visiting principals from Korea earlier this year as part of a professional development programme.
“The principals were so impressed by the warm welcome, the high standard of education institutes and great Kiwi lifestyle, they suggested to the college that Auckland would be the ideal study destination,” he said.
“For Korean students, gaining international work and study experience can put them ahead of other candidates when they’re looking for employment after their studies.”
As part of the agreement, Koguryeo College will also offer two scholarships for New Zealand and international students based here to go to Korea, learn the language and take part in the college’s various training programmes.
Korea is the fourth largest market for the international education sector in New Zealand. Some 5,000 Korean students base themselves in Auckland, contributing $167 million a year to the region. This new agreement will deliver an additional $3.5 million per year to the regional economy.
Japanese schools look to New Zealand
Led by ENZ, the seminars provided an opportunity for schools from the Wellington and Whanganui regions to meet their Japanese counterparts and discuss how they could partner together.
ENZ’s Senior Market Development Manager – Japan, Misa Kitaoka, said while initial expectations from New Zealand providers was that the demand would primarily be for short-term group visits, the Japanese schools showed enthusiasm for a variety of programmes including group visits and long-term students.
“As awareness of New Zealand education grows in Japan, so does the demand – as seen by the school market showing year-on-year growth,” said Misa.
"Japan is a market where school-to-school relationships deliver outcomes for both parties."
“These opportunities will only continue to grow as the Japanese government accelerates plans to promote internationalisation as we get closer to the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.”
Air New Zealand partnered with ENZ on the seminars, and will sponsor 10 Japanese schools to visit New Zealand to progress school relationships.
The seminars were also an opportunity for John van der Zwan, Executive Director of the Schools International Education Business Association (SIEBA), to provide an overview of its work and value to Japanese schools, especially if looking for a New Zealand school to receive groups through SIEBA’s placement service.
SIEBA also partnered with the Japan Association of Overseas Studies (JAOS), a peak body for Japanese agents, to answer questions from Japanese agents, and to present on what the new Code of Pastoral Care means for them.
The agents welcomed standardised templates produced by SIEBA, including enrolment forms and agent contracts, which agents said will make their business more efficient.
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.
Kapa Haka group from South Wellington Intermediate School.
- Vineet Kaur, Whitireia (India)
- Yucen (Ethan) Wu, Wellington High School (China)
- 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)
- Anis Emalin Madihah Mohd Nadzri, Victoria University (Malaysia)
- Khang Phan, Massey University (Vietnam)
- Dahee Sohn, Victoria University of Wellington (Korea)
- Ravethi (Rae) Jeyakumar, Victoria University of Wellington (Singapore)
- 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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
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.