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Around the world in five
Canadian language programmes register modest growth in 2016
The number of students enrolled in Canadian language programmes increased by 1 percent in 2016 even as student weeks fell by 5 percent, according to a Languages Canada survey. The survey report noted that language students looking to work during study were more likely to choose Australia or New Zealand, where work and study is facilitated, as compared to Canada, where off-campus work during language study is prohibited.
UK’s net migration position under pressure
Calls for a rethink on net migration targets and the inclusion of international students within that target were mounting on all sides of the UK political spectrum on August 24. As the latest news that 97 percent of international students leave after their studies filtered through, MPs and business leaders stepped up calls for Theresa May to protect the UK’s international education industry and rethink the inclusion of international students in net migration figures.
Hotcourses embeds TNE into course searches
Study search platform Hotcourses has expanded its offering to include a transnational education course search. Over 3,000 programmes from 432 education providers are offered in the new expansion, allowing students to search for courses in their own country, or overseas, with a degree awarded from a foreign university.
US reduces visa operations in Russia
The United States has suspended all visa operations in Russia for one week and from September will only provide visa services from the US Embassy in Moscow and not at other consulates, a move likely to cause disruption for Russian agents and students. The move follows the Russian government's recent order to cut the American diplomatic mission staff by 755 people.
Hong Kong’s ESF raises fees as government funding phased out
Year 2 pupils are the latest year group to face an additional fee payment of US$2,200 this year at English Schools Foundation (ESF), one of Hong Kong’s largest providers of English-medium education, as a result of the removal of a large government grant. ESF, which operates 22 schools across Hong Kong, teaching 17,600 students, is in its second consecutive year of phasing out the grant money it received from the government, which totalled US$36.5 million annually.
Official Information Act Requests
People in New Zealand can request government information (official information) and can expect it to be made available unless there is a good reason to withhold it.
The Official Information Act 1982 (or OIA) enables citizens, permanent residents, visitors to New Zealand, and body corporates registered or with a place of business in New Zealand, to make a request for official information held by government agencies, including Education New Zealand (ENZ).
Making a request
Your request should be as clear and specific as you can possibly make it. Before making a request please check our other sources of information listed below.
You can contact us in a number of ways to request information:
- Telephone (04) 472 0788
- Postal address: Level 5 Lambton House, 160 Lambton Quay, PO Box 12041, Wellington 6144
We would like:
- your name
- contact address (email or postal)
- details of the information you want.
We may ask you for more details if we’re not sure what you are seeking. If you make your request by phone or in person, we will confirm it in writing.
The State Services Commission provides tips for requesting information and guidance on how agencies will respond.
Before making a request for information
Before requesting official information from ENZ, we encourage you to check the list below to see if the information you need is already publicly available:
How long will it take?
We are required by law to give you our decision on your request as soon as possible, and no later than 20 working days after we receive your request.
If we need more time to make our decision on your request, for example if you are requesting a lot of information, we will let you know and give you an idea of how long it will take. We will also try to keep you updated on the progress of our response to your request. You can complain to the Office of the Ombudsman if you’re not happy with our decision to extend the time.
What does it cost?
Requesting official information is free, though we can charge a reasonable amount if it will take a lot of work to supply the information requested.
You can complain to the Office of the Ombudsman about our decision to charge.
What if I’m not satisfied?
You may wish to contact us in the first instance to see if we can resolve the issue.
You can make a complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman if you:
- have concerns regarding the decision we made on your request
- were unhappy about the way your request was treated or processed.
These concerns can relate to the withholding of information, extending the timeframe to respond to you, any charges for providing the information you have requested, delays in providing you with a decision or the information, or your request being transferred.
The Office of the Ombudsman can investigate and review our decision and may make a recommendation to us if it is considered appropriate.
Responses to Official Information Act 1982 requests
ENZ publishes responses to Official Information Act 1982 requests at the end of each month. ENZ first published its responses to requests for official information on its website in April 2018.
The response from ENZ details the information being released and explains what information, if any, has been withheld and under which grounds of the Act. The response also explains that we intend to make the information publicly available. The requestor's name and address have been removed from the response.
Documents are only available in Adobe PDF format and are listed in release date order, with the most recently released responses at the top.
SIT students journey to Japan
The students are Bachelor of Information Technology or Master of Information Technology students at SIT. Thanks to the scholarship, they are participating in an eight-week Cybersecurity and Internet of Things Knowledge Transfer and Cultural Programme at Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST).
Accompanying the students is Dr John Ayoade, the academic leader of the Master of Information Technology programme at SIT. Having previously worked at Tokyo’s National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Dr Ayoade took the group to visit NICT to attend presentations and hands-on workshops by its cybersecurity experts and researchers.
“The PMSA programme will help the students to build connections, networks and friendships, and develop a deeper understanding of the Japanese language and culture,” said Dr Ayoade.
“They’ll also gain an international perspective that will stand them in good stead for their future careers, and in the short-term, contribute to ideas for their postgraduate and master’s projects at SIT.”
Staying in Kichijoji, a vibrant suburb in Tokyo, the students have also had some down time to explore Shinjuku, Akihabara, Shibuya, Harajuku and SkyTree and visit the local shops, cafes and restaurants.
Having just concluded their first week, they are excited and looking forward to learning from the talented professors at NAIST.
A new home for international students
After extensive refurbishment, the Ellen Melville Centre and redesigned Freyberg Place in the heart of the city have re-opened to the public in September 2017.
The combined facility offers an open air public space for relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, as well as an indoor community centre with an exciting new range of programmes and activities – many of them free of charge.
The Auckland Agency Group (AAG), a cross-agency collaboration of central and local government agencies set up to improve international student wellbeing in Auckland, welcomes the new space and format.
Hayley Shields, ENZ’s Director of Student Experience and Chair of AAG, said the location of the new community centre makes it an ideal spot for international students to meet locals and other students.
“An estimated 20,000 international students reside in the CBD and want to be part of the local community.
“The centre will be a great place where international students can converge, meet and make new friends and feel part of the community.”
Formerly known as Pioneer Women’s and Ellen Melville Hall, the new Ellen Melville Centre has five diverse spaces that can be booked for meetings, private functions, exhibitions, films, concerts and performances.
Individuals, and arts, cultural and community groups interested in providing programmes at the centre are encouraged to make contact on this link.
From Whangaparaoa to Colombia
As a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Latin America (PMSLA), Eve Bain, 23, is undertaking a two-semester exchange in Colombia to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree.
After finishing her LLB (Hons) at Victoria University of Wellington, Eve headed to Medellín, Colombia in January to study Political Science at Universidad EAFIT.
“I really wanted to immerse myself in a completely different culture and become fluent in Spanish,” she said.
“EAFIT is an extremely modern and impressive university and a lovely place to study. It’s been fascinating to study political science during the peace process in Colombia, and to talk to Colombians about their perspectives on the process too.”
Eve says some of the biggest differences in education between the two countries are the structure of classes at the university.
“Here there are no lectures. It’s more like college, with classes of 25 to 30 students. There are a lot of group projects and small quizzes, whereas at university in New Zealand you have two or three big independent assignments.”
Eve recently obtained the EAFIT Language Centre’s ‘scholarship to share culture and language,’ which will enable her to take Spanish-language classes while teaching English to children each week, using New Zealand culture and history as a platform.
“People often don’t know a lot about New Zealand but they know Lord of the Rings was filmed there and that our country is beautiful.
“I plan to bake Anzac cookies with them, and teach them some Kiwi slang, rugby and kapa haka!”
Eve describes the Colombian culture as vibrant and rich, and says the people are some of the friendliest she has met.
“It’s also been great to connect with Kiwis here through the scholarship – I even had dinner with New Zealand’s Ambassador to Chile and New Zealand’s Trade Commissioner for South America last month.”
Eve in San Agustin, where she “had the trip of a lifetime” doing a 6-day horse trek through the rain forest (despite no previous horse riding experience).
Eve is about to start her second semester of study before returning to New Zealand in December. She said so far she’s had nothing but positive experiences.
“I am really proud of my progress so far – I have improved my Spanish so much now that I am fairly fluent, and I have learned a lot about the history and culture of Colombia, and the region more generally.”
“I am also gaining skills that will be valuable for New Zealand in the future, particularly for my future goals of diplomacy and international dispute settlement.”
“My experience here would not have been possible without the PMSLA.”
Education Tauranga makes first Japan visit
The delegation of 20 education providers ranged from primary school to tertiary, and were keen to establish new connections in Japan.
The three-day programme kicked off with a presentation on the Japan market by ENZ’s Misa Kitaoka. This was followed by visits by most delegates to four primary schools, arranged by the Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education and the Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“The primary school visits provided an excellent opportunity to introduce the Bay of Plenty region including its Maori language and culture as well as the primary school experience available in Tauranga,” says Misa.
On the last day, ENZ and Education Tauranga co-hosted an agent seminar and networking reception for about 40 travel and education agents looking for new partners in the Bay of Plenty region.
Misa said the reception coincided with a visit by the director of the Maibara Board of Education in Shiga Prefecture. Maibara is a city set to act as a ‘host town’ for New Zealand while taking part in the Japanese government’s promotion of exchanges between local municipalities and nations participating in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
“The event provided a good opportunity for Tauranga and Maibara to explore future collaboration combining education and sports,” Misa said.
Misa said that, in Japan, destination marketing plays a key role when agents, students and families are choosing an overseas study destination.
“Visits by regional delegations are a good marketing practice because they combine the promotion of a region and the providers within the region.
“ENZ can provide in-market assistance by hosting an event at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo and in other cities to gather a group of Japanese agents and educators, resulting in a wider outreach to industry partners and stakeholders,” said Misa.
She added that the City of Atsugi in Kanagawa Prefecture, another host town for New Zealand, will shortly start a programme to send high school students to Otago Polytechnic.
With the new opportunities lying ahead of Japan's major sporting games in 2020, Anne Young from Education Tauranga reported that "many new agent relationships were established” at the reception.
ENZ had been an excellent conduit for building and increasing market opportunities between Education Tauranga and Japan, Anne said.
English New Zealand 2017 Conference success
Held in Auckland, “The Future Face of ELT in New Zealand” featured presentations on all aspects of best practice in the ELT environment: the academic and teaching context, assessment, marketing, management and pastoral care.
Sahinde Pala, ENZ’s Business Development Manager, said the event had something insightful for everyone across the sector.
“The programme was well designed to cater to the various English language professionals who attended, and the line-up of presenters was impressive,” said Sahinde.
“It was particularly motivational to hear ACG’s Marnie Watson endorse collaborative marketing to ensure the profile of New Zealand’s quality reputation is raised even further.”
Also joining the conference was an English New Zealand famil group of study abroad agency representatives from Spain, Italy and France.
Kim Renner, English New Zealand’s Executive Director said as well as visiting member schools around New Zealand, the representatives appreciated the chance to network and give a market presentation to conference delegates.
“Visiting New Zealand in person to see what we offer is invaluable to them,” said Kim.
“They provided insights around the use of social media and not underestimating the important role study abroad agencies play in assisting students with their study abroad choices and planning.”
The conference was organised by English New Zealand, with the support of ENZ, Cambridge Assessment English and the Auckland Institute of Studies.
Before the conference, English New Zealand hosted the QALEN Symposium, a forum for representatives of ELT global quality assurance bodies, some of whom stayed on to participate in the conference.
Enhancing diversity in the student experience
A number of education and diversity-related professionals from around the world attended GIIL, including a cohort of 11 visiting US professionals from international education, student affairs, education abroad, faculty development, and diversity and social justice programmes.
At the conference, delegates had the chance to network and gain skills and resources to better support diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus.
Hayley Shields, ENZ’s Director Student Experience, said the turnout at GIIL reflected the growing interest in diversity on Kiwi campuses.
“When it comes to the international education industry in New Zealand, we’ve tended to view diversity from a recruitment perspective as meaning market diversification,” said Hayley.
“However, New Zealand – and in particular, Auckland – is a very diverse society and sets a great example of inclusivity and openness to other international educators around the world.”
Hayley spoke at the panel on ‘Multi-sector perspectives on diversity and inclusion in New Zealand,’ alongside panellists from the University of Auckland, Auckland Council, Ministry of Education and Niesh, a student-run, student services enterprise.
Breakout group discussions focussed on diversity in the student experience, local and central government policies, and professional development opportunities for faculty, staff and students.
Hayley said with more than 220 recorded ethnic groups living in Auckland, and with the location of the conference at the University of Auckland’s Fale Pasifika, the setting helped emphasise the importance of diversity and inclusion on New Zealand campuses.
GIIL was co-sponsored by ENZ and the University of Auckland, and coordinated through the Diversity Abroad network.
Export Education Levy projects from 2016/17
The annual report covers the period from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017, and can be found on the Education Counts and ENZ website.
The levy is paid by education providers who enrol fee-paying international students in New Zealand.
“In 2003, the Government introduced the Export Education Levy to fund a wide range of development and risk management initiatives for the export education sector. This includes funding the Code of Practice which oversees the wellbeing of our international students while they are studying in New Zealand, as well as marketing, development, quality assurance and research for the sector,” says Belinda Himiona, Group Manager International Education, Ministry of Education.
Activities funded by the levy in 2016/17 include:
- Implementing the International Student Wellbeing Strategy
- supporting promotional activities in ENZ’s priority markets
- expanding the scope and regions in ENZ’s Regional Partnership Programme
Support for promotional activities in ENZ’s priority markets included digital marketing via the Study in New Zealand website, social media campaigns, fairs and events held overseas. It also supported in-bound agent visits and international media familiarisation visits to New Zealand.
Funding also went into expanding the scope of growth activities, and number of regions participating in ENZ’s Regional Partnership Programme, which works with international education providers, local government, regional economic development agencies and communities to encourage regional growth in international education.
Funding was also allocated to administering and monitoring the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. To support the implementation of the new Code of Practice, guidelines and other resources were developed and published on the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s website. A letter of expectations was sent to all signatories advising them of the new Code of Practice and highlighting their responsibilities
Six months in Singapore
The campus at NTU is truly amazing and the facilities are something to behold. I enrolled in classes at Nanyang Business School (NBS) and the school of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS). While there were a few language barriers initially, I learnt early on that I would need to speak slower – though at times my professors still struggled with my accent.
Outside of classes, I played hockey in the Singaporean National Hockey League, which enabled me to meet new people and stay healthy. I loved getting to know my teammates, although playing in the 40-degree heat with 100% humidity was torturous at times!
My biggest highlight abroad was taking part in FINEX, a financial competition crossed with the amazing race. I teamed up with two other exchange students to undertake finance-related challenges at locations throughout Singapore and we were fortunate enough to finish runners-up! The competition was a great introduction to Singapore and was an excellent opportunity to meet local students and learn more about the Lion City.
Singapore is a diverse, modern, multi-cultural hub of the ASEAN bloc and was an ideal place to become accustomed to Singaporean, Indonesian, Malay, Indian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese practices first-hand. I gained invaluable exposure to a diverse group of people while on exchange. I became close friends with my Chinese roommate and even learned Mandarin from him.
I travelled extensively throughout most of North and Southeast Asia, visiting friends and immersing myself in their different languages and cultures. Being able to experience these environments first-hand was incredible, and I developed a greater appreciation for a wide array of cultures, customs, traditions and etiquettes. It highlighted the need to be tolerant, patient and respectful of distinct ethnicities and their customs – traits that will prove invaluable for me going forward in both my personal and professional endeavours.
"While I learnt a lot about the places I travelled to while abroad, I also learnt a lot about myself."
I now feel more comfortable making connections with people from Asia as I have had the opportunity to develop extensive knowledge of the region. Trade and business prospects between New Zealand and ASEAN nations are extremely promising. However, my experience taught me that these economic relationships must be accompanied by education and an adequate understanding of the cultural dynamics underpinning them. It is so important to approach different cultures, traditions and practices with respect and an open mind. If we are able to do that, New Zealand’s relationship with Asian nations will grow remarkably.
While I learnt a lot about the places I travelled to while abroad, I also learnt a lot about myself. I feel my exchange made me more well-rounded and receptive to others and their ideas. I also feel more driven and motivated to get up each day and make a meaningful difference. My experiences abroad made me realise how fortunate we are in New Zealand and the extent to which we can both learn from and give back to our neighbours in Asia.
I cannot express how grateful I am for the opportunities this award has presented me. The PMSA is a tremendous scheme and I am so appreciative for being given such a great head start.