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  • Gambier Islands students ‘snowstruck’

    The 33 students and their guardians spent three days travelling from their home in Mangareva Island, the largest island in the remote Gambier archipelago, which is more than four hours’ flying time south of Tahiti, to reach Taupo.

    This remoteness means the Gambiers are known as 'the islands at the end of the world'. With a tropical climate, coral white sands, coconut palms, mountainous peaks and expansive fishing lagoons, the French-administered Gambiers are most famous for their black pearl industry. The 14 islands are also a popular sailing destination.

    Unaccustomed to Taupo temperatures, the group – a sizeable proportion of the entire 1530 Gambier population – had to borrow warm clothing from their homestay families when they arrived. There are no clothing shops and very few stores on their remote island. The teenagers quickly discovered Taupo's shops and got busy buying clothing and gifts to give to their families.

    As part of their two-week English immersion course, the students took part in activities in and around Taupo, including indoor climbing, meeting pupils from Taupo-Nui-a-Tia College and visiting a marae. The visitors could understand the Māori language, as their local Marquesan language is similar.

    However, the highlight of the trip was two days spent learning to ski at Happy Valley, the “magic carpet” learner slope of Whakapapa Ski Area on Mt Ruapehu near Taupo.

    Parents and teachers accompanying the group said Taupo Language School was recommended by Air Tahiti nui because it could offer the skiing and adventure activities, and the town is an easy and safe place to shop. They spent nine months planning and fundraising, although some expenses were subsidised by local government.

    One of the parents, Denis Salmon, said they were pleased with how much the students' English had progressed.

    "Not only have they become more independent and confident, but they now realise the importance of learning this language."

    Taupo Language School director Rose Blackley said attending multi-cultural classes meant the students made friends with Saudi, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and South American nationals.

  • Oldest Korean education agency files for bankruptcy

    Korean local media reported that Uhak.com has failed to pay up to NZ$2 million in tuition fees to its partner education institutions around the world, impacting approximately 200 of Uhak.com’s clients.

    Uhak.com had facilitated paying clients’ tuition fees to international education institutions. The company would receive the fees from parents two to three months in advance, and receive commissions from the overseas providers for the service. The company is alleged to have used clients’ tuition fees to pay its expenses.

    Uhak.com sends around 3,000 students per year to education institutions around the world. Over the past two years, the agency had sent over 100 students to New Zealand’s English language providers.

    Established in 1981, Uhak.com operated 12 offices in Korea and had branches worldwide including Auckland. The company’s revenue in 2015 was approximately NZ$13 million.

    In 2014, Canadian education group Loyalist Group Limited acquired Uhak.com for NZ$10 million. 

  • ACG expands its New Zealand vocational group

    ACG Group Chief Executive, John Williamson, said that acquisitions are part of ACG’s plan to broaden its portfolio of high-quality educational services.

    “With ongoing demand for recognised, quality educational qualifications, we are well positioned to grow, either through developing new offerings ourselves or acquiring providers whose philosophies and standards match ours,” said Williamson.

    ACG’s vocational diplomas, degrees and courses are offered in a range of creative industries such as IT, tourism and hospitality, trades and services, health, and early childhood. The acquisitions will now see ACG delivering education to over 12,000 students through its 35 campuses across three countries.

    ACG’s other institutions include Yoobee School of Design, New Zealand Management Academies, New Zealand School of Tourism and New Zealand Career College.

    Animation College is New Zealand's leading character animation college, delivering both traditional and 3D animation courses. AMES is one of New Zealand’s top IT education providers, while South Seas Film & Television School is a leading film, television, screen acting, animation and photography training institution.

  • 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.

     

    ThaiRMUTT

    The group of RMUT representatives at Air New Zealand Aviation Institute

     

     

     

  • 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."     

    Japan4

    From left: Christine Pugh (Wellington Region Economic Development Agency), John van der Zwan (SIEBA Executive Director), Misa, Masaru Yamada (JAOS Chairman), Yukari Kato (JAOS Executive Board member) and Richard Kyle, ENZ Business Development Manager, at the SIEBA-JAOS workshop for education agents.

    “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.

    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.

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