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  • 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)


    • Zilong Li, WelTec (China)

    Community engagement

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


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


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


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


    • 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.

  • The International Education Strategy – one year on

    Goal one: Delivering an excellent education and student experience

    Progress on goal one includes:

    • Launching NauMai NZ. ENZ has launched NauMai NZ, an online platform providing accurate, relevant information to help international students before they arrive and while they’re studying in New Zealand.
    • Reviewing migrant exploitation. MBIE is leading a cross-agency review of the exploitation of temporary migrant workers and international students.
    • Supporting wellbeing initiatives. MoE administers an annual funding round for international student wellbeing initiatives. Initiatives that have been funded have had very positive outcomes for students.
    • Strengthening English language requirements. NZQA has strengthened English language proficiency requirements for international students.
    • Relaunching ENZRA. The ENZ Recognised Agency programme was relaunched in November 2018.
    • Introducing new protections. MoE has introduced amendments to the Code of Practice including new contract and disciplinary protections, clearer requirements for residential caregiver safety checks, and more detailed requirements for monitoring education agents.

    Goal two: Achieving sustainable growth

     Progress on goal two includes:

    • Forming an innovation-focused group. A new pan-sector working group will inform the development of new education products that support the Strategy’s goals.
    • Refresh of the Think New brand. ENZ has refreshed our Think New brand strategy, including creating the identity ‘I am New’.

    Goal three: Developing global citizens

     Progress on goal three includes:

    • Developing an outbound mobility strategy. MoE has begun work on a new outbound mobility strategy. Objectives include increasing participation in exchange programmes by groups that have been historically underrepresented, including Māori and Pasifika students and students in lower decile schools.
    • Focusing on international graduate employability. A new ENZ report, Employer Perceptions of Hiring International Graduates, found New Zealand SME employers value the keen attitude and positive contribution made by New Zealand-educated international graduates.

  • Ask New Anything: ENZ's next global campaign

    I Am New Grid2

    Launching in mid-October, ENZ’s global digital campaign 'Ask New Anything' is our most technically sophisticated campaign yet.

    The 'Ask New Anything' campaign aims to challenge commonly held perceptions of New Zealand and increase awareness of the country as a high-quality study destination. It does this in a new and innovative way – by inviting audiences in 14 international markets to question what they know about New Zealand. 

    'Ask New Anything' will be the first time the refreshed 'Think New' brand has been widely used in digital channels. To read more about ‘I AM NEW’, see the E-News story ‘A brand NEW day’

    The campaign brings together ENZ’s digital insights, the refreshed brand and the Study in New Zealand chatbot Tohu, to give prospective students the answers they need to make an informed study decision.

    The creative concept

    Drawing on Google search data, China-specific insights and data from Tohu, we’ve pulled together a list of the most commonly searched questions about studying in New Zealand.

    We put these questions to real international students, a New Zealand student, a teacher, a parent and an employer and recorded their responses in 100 unscripted videos.

    As well as being used on YouTube, Facebook and other digital media, the videos will be available on demand in Tohu the chatbot (who can be found on the website, the NauMai NZ website and Facebook Messenger).

    If asked a question it cannot answer, Tohu will direct prospective students to a new Facebook group or Instagram Live event, where they can ask current international students their questions in real time, delivering on the promise that you can 'Ask New Anything'.

    In China, the campaign  will use the most relevant questions for the market within WeChat and other local platforms.

    ENZ Director Platforms and Campaigns, Euan Howden, says: “Harnessing our award-winning data and marketing platform, we're bringing the refreshed 'Think New' brand to life with a level of technical sophistication that we couldn't have dreamed of a year ago. I'm looking forward to seeing how audiences engage with this campaign, and how this affects their perceptions of New Zealand as their preferred study destination.”

    Introducing the new brand

    The campaign will be the first global digital showcase of the refreshed 'Think New' brand which  positions our international education brand for success and defines quality by the ways we help students make their mark on the world. Additionally, the campaign captures New Zealand’s values of societal openness, transparency and manaakitanga.

    ENZ Director Brand and Design, Kaylee Butters, says: “This is the most interactive campaign we’ve run to date. The involvement of our Kiwi Ambassadors and the direct connections enabled by the Facebook group and Instagram Live events really underpins the authenticity of the brand and puts our students right at the heart of the creative concept.”

    More information

    To find out more about the campaign, and how you can leverage this activity in your own marketing, please click here. This webpage will be updated regularly throughout the campaign as new information and resources become available.

  • New Zealand experience grows global indigenous network

    A special bond forged through a Study Abroad programme, involving Vermont’s Champlain College and Auckland University of Technology (AUT), was marked by the gifting of a unique pare whakairo (carved doorway mantel) to the US College in September.

    Called Te Hononga (The Convergence), the pare whakairo was created by kaiwhakairo (Māori carver) Pahi O’Carroll over four weeks in residence on the Champlain campus. 

    The pare is unlike any other. It is carved from a wood native to the area – black walnut – and evokes values, beliefs and traditions common to both Māori and the indigenous people of Vermont, the Abenaki.

    The relationship between Champlain and AUT dates back five years, when New Zealand Honorary Consul and trustee of Champlain College, Dr George Burrill, first established a study abroad exchange programme between the two institutions. To date, over 100 students have participated.

    One of the highlights of American students’ time at AUT is the Noho Marae programme.

    “Every year students tell us how the Noho Marae programme has profoundly impacted them,” ENZ General Manager – International, Lisa Futschek, says. “It turns them into lifelong advocates for New Zealand, its education system and Māori culture.”

    Run by AUT Senior Lecturer in Māori and Indigenous Development, Jason King, the mini-course includes basic Te Reo Māori, Māori mythology, waiata (songs) and cultural customs. It includes with a noho marae (weekend-long marae experience). 

    King describes the course as “the base of a tree, from which branches and leaves grow”. 

    “The course puts indigenous goggles on students,” he says. “It opens them up to areas of discussion with their own indigenous people.

    “My ultimate aim is to connect us not only globally, but indigenously.”

    Thanks to their connection to Māori via AUT and the Noho Marae programme, Champlain College made a formal connection to their own indigenous people, the Abenaki tribe. A representative from the Abenaki was present at the unveiling of Te Hononga. 

    Many US students choose to keep in touch after they return home through the student-led Whānau Councils. These were first established in 2010 after students from Europe were so moved by their AUT marae experience that they set up their own group to maintain their connection to New Zealand and each other. There are now three Whānau Councils across Europe and the US actively supported by AUT.

    For the European council’s 10-year anniversary, members of group are planning to return to New Zealand – this time with their partners and children.

    “We tell them during the Noho Marae, after studying in New Zealand you are whānau for life,” King says.

  • From the Acting CE: Open for business – international education and the vocational reforms

    I am therefore very pleased that Education New Zealand has the opportunity to contribute and support the work of the establishment unit for the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology (NZIST) and the reforms.

    The NZIST will bring together the existing 16 ITPs to create a unified, sustainable public network of vocational education.

    As we all know, New Zealand enjoys a strong reputation for work-ready education and industry training.

    The reforms should build on New Zealand’s reputation as a high-quality choice for international students. They should also help develop a strong national identity for the vocational sector, representing a significant opportunity for providers to attract overseas students.

    They should also help ensure a regional spread of students across New Zealand, with a lot of benefits for the regions – including skills, diversity and revenue.

    I’m also very pleased to see that the reforms recognise the importance of international education. One of the seven IST work streams focuses entirely on it.

    The International Education Working Group is chaired by Michelle Jordan from Venture Taranaki. Members are drawn from across nine institutes of technology/polytechnics and one skills organisation.

    We are working closely with the group to support their work. And we’ll continue to work with them through the journey to share our experience and expertise.

    The NZIST has a huge challenge ahead. And the changes to the country’s vocational education system will take time to embed.

    While there is much happening at the provider level, the message for the sector and international students is that it’s business as usual. ITPs are open for business. And ENZ is continuing to market them. Students can continue to enrol at ITPs for 2020 as usual, including for multi-year programmes. Existing programmes, qualifications and credentials will continue to be recognised internationally.

    The changes will take time, but they are an investment in the future of New Zealand’s vocational education and international education sectors.

  • Talented young Kiwis awarded PM’s Scholarships to Asia and Latin America

    This round of scholarships supports 252 recent graduates or current students to undertake study, research or internships at institutions in Latin America and Asia, including Brazil, Mexico, China, India and Japan.

    Awardees are in a range of fields including languages, law, business, health, sustainability and the arts. They will attend for periods ranging from four weeks to one year.

    The scholarships enable a wide range of educational experiences, including: a cultural exchange and internship programme for Māori and Pasifika graduates in Vietnam; a global business and innovation programme at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Shenzhen, China, for a group of undergraduate business students; an internship with an Indian charity supporting street children and another with the United Nations Office for Sustainable Development in Korea. 

    ‘’These scholarships enable talented young New Zealanders to enrich their education offshore, adding international experience and global perspectives to their qualifications,’’ Chris Hipkins said.

    “The quality of the awardees, from all over New Zealand and from a wide range of tertiary institutions, is impressive. I am sure they will serve as excellent ambassadors for our country.

    ‘’Longer term, the international networks and cross-cultural skills that they bring back home will enhance and strengthen our future workforce. Their experiences benefit New Zealand at a national level and improve our ability to engage and connect with Asia and Latin America.

    ‘’The Prime Minister’s Scholarships support the Government’s goal of a thriving and globally connected New Zealand through world-class international education,” Chris Hipkins said.

    Of the successful applicants in this round, 114 will travel on an individual scholarship and 138 will travel as part of a group. They come from a range of tertiary institutions nationwide, including the University of Auckland (69 awardees); Victoria University of Wellington (41); Massey University (40); Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design (16) and the Southern Institute of Technology (nine). There are also 10 recipients from the education NGO, TupuToa.

    Here is the full list of PMSA and PMSLA recipients from this round (2019-2020 Round One).

    The total value of the scholarships offered in this round is $1.9m. Information on past PMSA and PMSLA recipients can be found here.

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