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  • English New Zealand announces new chair

    Darren, who is the managing director and co-owner of Languages International, previously served as English New Zealand’s chair from June 2012 to 2015.

    English New Zealand chair Darren Conway.

    “I was planning for something much more relaxing than stepping back into the chair’s role at English New Zealand,” he said.

    “But these are unprecedented times and I’m happy to take up the challenge. I hope that my experience and advocacy can help English New Zealand lead the sector out of the current crisis. We can make a useful contribution to the recovery of the New Zealand economy, but we need both judicious and timely support and clear communication from the government, and that’s where our initial focus will be.”

    English New Zealand say they greatly appreciate the contributions that Wayne, also the group principal for ICL Education, has made during his tenure.

    “It has been a privilege to represent the 22 members schools and I have appreciated the opportunity to engage with government and non-government stakeholders, raising the awareness of what we do and advocating on members’ behalf,” Wayne said.

    “We have long argued that our quality and experience be recognised by government agencies in a meaningful way - in the way the export education levy is determined, in the way our sector is quality assured, and in the way our English language courses are categorised.

    “To that end, I was very pleased by the recent cabinet paper proposing legislative changes allowing for recognition of ELT as a separate sub-sector and opening the door to achieving these goals.”

  • PTE English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) Provision Fund

    The $1.5 million fund is designed to help English language schools impacted by the border closure to international students.

    The funding was announced in July by Minister of Education Chris Hipkins as part of the Government’s $51.6 million Recovery Plan for International Education.

    The PTE ESOL Fund is part of the first workstream, which seeks to stabilise the sector while borders remain closed. Read more about the Recovery Plan.

    The funding aims to help increase demand for English language training, to be met by English Language Schools. It will also help with upskilling and improving the employability of New Zealanders with English language needs, including migrant partners and dependents of New Zealanders.

    The fund is being implemented by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

    Eligibility

    To be eligible for the PTE ESOL Provision Fund, your organisation must hold a Category 1 External Evaluation and Review (EER) rating from NZQA as at 1 July 2020.

    Teaching enabled by this fund may only be provided to Category A and B learners. All learners must be in New Zealand.

    Read more details on eligbility

    How to apply

    Applications for the PTE ESOL Provision Fund are open now and will close at 5pm on Friday, 28 August.

    To apply, you need to complete the form on the TEC website and send it through to the TEC Customer Group via email: customerservice@tec.govt.nz

    Read more detail and apply

    Other considerations 

    For the full list of terms and conditions, including successful applicants’ reporting and monitoring requirements, refer to the TEC website.

  • From the CE: Honouring our commitment to international students

    The Government has announced today that a new border exception will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies.

    Read Minister of Education Chris Hipkins’ official release.

    This is a positive first step on the path to recovery and is consistent with the Recovery Plan for International Education.

    It is recognition that international education is important to New Zealand and will play a vital role in the country’s rebuild and recovery from COVID-19. Prior to COVID, international education was New Zealand’s fifth-largest export earner, earning $5 billion a year and supporting around 45,000 jobs.

    Moreover, the international students included in this group have had their postgraduate study or research disrupted by COVID-19, and cannot complete it due to the practical nature of their course. They have made a commitment to New Zealand, and that’s something we want to honour.

    ENZ’s next step is to work with tertiary providers as they identify and select eligible students, and to continue to work with other government agencies to ensure a safe and considered process is developed for these students to enter the country.

    ENZ is looking forward to further border exceptions that will benefit as many providers and students as possible, when it is safe to do so.

    We will also have work underway to make sure the students entering New Zealand receive a warm welcome and have the information they need to succeed.

    I am very proud of the manaakitanga that New Zealand education providers have been demonstrating throughout the COVID-19 crisis this year.

    Please continue to encourage your students to sign up to NauMai NZ, our digital home for students who have chosen to study in New Zealand. Over the COVID-19 crisis, it has continually been updated and expanded with information international students need to know.

    In the early hours of Saturday, 2 October, ENZ’s NauMai NZ was awarded a Highly Commended in the Student Support category at The PIEoneer Awards. We are delighted to be recognised for this work alongside such a varied list of international organisations.

    You can read more about NauMai NZ in this issue of E-News.

    He waka eke noa (we’re all in this together).

    Grant McPherson

    Chief Executive

    Manapou ki te Ao

  • New initiatives to keep New Zealand education dream alive in Viet Nam

    Earlier this year, ENZ asked study providers how we can support the visibility of New Zealand schools who usually operate in the Vietnamese market.

    Two proposals have now been selected.

    The first will fund Year 10 students from five Manawatū schools to undertake a customised version of AFS’ Global Competence Certificate (GCC).

    AFS is partnering with Massey University to facilitate the programme and each New Zealand school will partner with a Vietnamese school from TTC Education, ENZ’s private school network partner with over 18,000 students.

    Students from both countries will join weekly virtual workshops facilitated by Massey University – in the last four weeks of New Zealand’s school year – focused on developing the students’ lifelong global ‘power skills’ and providing them with an opportunity to interact and connect directly with their overseas student counterparts.

    CEDA and Palmerston North City Council will offer scholarships for up to 25 Manawatū students to participate in the Vietnam GCC, while ENZ will fund the same number of students to participate in Viet Nam.

    The second initiative will support the development and implementation of a digital marketing strategy for 14 New Zealand schools. This initiative, which is being delivered by Lightpath Consulting Group, will include dedicated in-market representation, market advice, agent engagement support and a customised Vietnamese website.

    The activities will help build a strong, in-market sector presence while borders are closed. They will enable the schools and ENZ to engage through tailored digital marketing programmes to boost the reputation of New Zealand schools with Vietnamese audiences.

    Viet Nam is an important market for New Zealand schools. In 2018, it was one of our only source markets to record student growth on the year before, with 39 percent more Vietnamese students choosing to study here.

    “Education New Zealand remains committed to supporting New Zealand schools’ activity in Viet Nam and given the current challenges presented by COVID-19, we believe that supporting in-market representation models will maintain visibility in a market which has demonstrated continued growth for the sector,” ENZ Regional Director – Asia, John Laxon, says.

  • The first step towards student re-entry

    Work is well underway to put in place a new system to allow this cohort of students to enter New Zealand.

    For students, there is no rush to apply for these limited spaces. PhD and postgraduate students who hold or held a visa for 2020 will be selected by education providers and offered a place in this first cohort.

    The initial student selection process is being finalised by education providers and government agencies, who are also planning the support students will require on their journey to resume their study in New Zealand. Students are expected to start arriving from November, with most arriving after Christmas.

    Eligible students will hold or have held a visa to study in 2020 but have been unable to enter New Zealand due to COVID-19, with priority given first to those who must be in New Zealand to complete practical components of their research and study.

    Students will need to comply with New Zealand’s COVID-19 regulations, including a 14-day managed isolation period, and payment of the isolation charges. Their arrival remains subject to the availability of these facilities, to avoid preventing New Zealand citizens and residents from returning home, or essential skilled workers from entering the country.

    Education New Zealand has been working with the Ministry of Education and other Government agencies and the education sector in building the student re-entry approach.

    In announcing this decision on 12 October, Minister Chris Hipkins emphasised the importance of international education to New Zealand’s recovery and rebuild from the pandemic.

    “We have been glad to see this initial announcement has been well-received by both the New Zealand public and the education sector,” ENZ General Manager – Stakeholders & Communications, John Goulter, says. “This group of 250 represents only a fraction of our usual international student intake. By keeping this first cohort of international students small, we can all work to make sure students have a great experience – and that they are welcomed and supported by New Zealanders.”

  • From the CE: The outlook for the future

    Many of you are wondering – and fielding a lot of questions – about the outlook for the future as COVID-19 continues to disrupt the world.

    It’s very important to acknowledge that COVID-19 is an unprecedented event in our lifetime. While there have been crises, disasters, wars and terrorist attacks, none have had the scale, impact or complexity of this global pandemic. There is little certainty as the world navigates its way through this and looks to the development of effective vaccines to counter its impact.

    As New Zealand’s Director-General of Health advises, COVID-19 is a very tricky virus and we have to be very vigilant. The Government is continuing to take a balanced approach to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone in New Zealand and to carefully manage demand on the country’s quarantine facilities. We aren’t out of the woods yet and can’t be complacent.

    Like many other countries, New Zealand’s border restrictions remain in place. The Government is granting entry to small, targeted cohorts by exception only, and only these visas are being processed. Students are not able to apply for a student visa from outside New Zealand, unless a border exception applies. This decision will be reviewed in February 2021.

    Last month we saw the Government recognise the vital role international education will play in the recovery and rebuild of New Zealand and the need to continue the fight against the pandemic. The Minister of Education announced that the Government would allow a small cohort of up to 250 postgraduate (mostly PhD) students into New Zealand. These are students whose study has been interrupted by COVID-19 and who have a practical research component to their study that requires them to be here. Providers are currently selecting these students and they are expected to enter New Zealand earlier next year.

    We acknowledge that this exception applies to a fraction of the number of students we normally welcome to the country. Some students and providers may be disappointed not to have been a part of this first border exception group.

    The Government says it will review further possible border exceptions to enable more cohorts to enter the country, as and when the time is right, and to then build up numbers when it’s safe for all to do so. But no further decisions around cohorts have been made at this stage.

    So, given this information, we won’t see normal numbers of students entering the country in time for term one or semester one next year. I suggest that tertiary students consider starting or continuing their New Zealand study online, until there is more certainty on border exceptions. Students and their families are advised to keep in close contact with their agent or study provider.

    But throughout this uncertainty, I can assure you that New Zealand highly values international students and looks forward to their return. Until then, the team at Education New Zealand will continue to tell you as much as we can about the situation here, as soon as we can.

    Ehara taku toa I te toa takitahi, engari he toa takitini.

    My strength is not that of a single warrior but that of many.

    Ngā mihi,

    Grant McPherson

  • Introducing the AgentLab WeChat mini programme

    As AgentLab is a web-based platform with English content, it needed a separate programme for Chinese audiences. The new mini programme not only uses Chinese language, but it also offers a localised user experience more suitable for this group.

    “Education agents continue to have a crucial role in ensuring that international students and their parents have accurate information about what New Zealand, as a study destination can offer. Especially in China, agents are the main interface between education providers, students, and students’ parents,” ENZ Director – Greater China, Miranda Herbert says.

    The agent landscape in China is extensive. The biggest agencies have around 50 branches in the mainland, with different agencies having particular regional strengths. Because agents run their own events – both B2B and with students – ENZ supports their activities rather than running our own ENZ Recognised Agency fairs.

    AgentLab is ENZ’s dedicated communications portal for education agents, providing them with the training and resources they need to best promote New Zealand as an international study destination.

    It has proven to be a very effective way to support agents during these uncertain, fast-changing times. There are now close to 5,000 users on the platform, which is a 60 percent increase since March 2020. This year alone ENZ conducted almost 50 webinars (some region-specific) through AgentLab, and shared regular updates via news feeds, direct messages, and the COVID-19 FAQs page.

    Access 新西兰留学顾问计划 on WeChat, or use the QR code below:

  • ENZ launches Korean Student Reporters Programme

    Throughout 2021, this group of student reporters will share everything from their personal experiences to advice for Korean students about to embark on their New Zealand study.

    ENZ Senior Market Development Manager – South Korea, Kay Lee, said that the ENZ Korea blog is an invaluable resource for prospective international students there.

    “All the student reporters are very keen to help future international students avoid mistakes and make better decisions. Their vivid and inspiring stories will help potential international students from Korea to prepare for their study in New Zealand post-COVID.

    “We’re encouraging them to write in an honest and informative way, as their insights as a student are priceless to someone thinking about studying in New Zealand in the future.”

    The student reporters consist of 10 tertiary students (from University of Auckland, University of Otago, University of Canterbury, Unitec, WelTec and Up International College) and 10 secondary school students (from Nelson College for girls, Sacred Heart Girls’ Collage, Bethlehem College, St Peter's Cambridge, Takapuna Grammar School, St Margaret College and Auckland International College).

    The first batch of stories in January included headlines like ‘My first summer break in New Zealand’, ‘Life in New Zealand during COVID-19’, and ‘University entrance preparation in New Zealand’.

    The student reporters programme is the first time ENZ has asked international students from Korea to contribute to our digital content platform in the local language. It is part of ENZ’s Korea team’s efforts to keep the New Zealand education brand alive in-market under the New Zealand Government’s Recovery Plan for International Education

  • What is ‘transforming to a more sustainable future state’?

    ENZ has been tasked with a programme of work that focuses on the diversification of education products and services. It forms part of the Government’s International Education Recovery Plan, under the “Transforming to a More Sustainable Future State” workstream. 

    Its overarching objective is to build sector resilience and diversify our offerings to broaden and enhance the value that international education brings to New Zealand over the longer term. This programme of work complements the Recovery Plan’s other focus areas, including early return of students and strengthening the system.

    Although the pandemic has accelerated it, the need for diversification through a greater range of innovative products and services was first recognised in the 2018 New Zealand International Education Strategy (NZIES) under Goal 2, ‘Achieving Sustainable Growth’.

    We now find ourselves in an environment that has already changed – we must respond to it, both in the short-term while borders are closed, and longer-term to build resilience against further big shocks.

    We have a big opportunity now to identify areas where New Zealand can develop new high-value, high quality offerings that are grounded in the unique strengths of New Zealand and our education providers, and to wrap our education system and offerings around those areas.

    Areas of focus

    It’s important to note that this programme of work is not just about exploring other modes of delivery or a big digital project headed by the Government. Under the Recovery Plan there are three areas of focus in the Diversifying Products & Services programme: 

    • Exploration, testing and development of new products and services, as per Goal 2 of the NZIES and the 2020 sector Future Focus Programme funding
    • Exploration of online platforms or partnerships, both to deliver online products but also to connect with audiences with a specific interest in online learning and/or online pathways to study in New Zealand
    • Offshore pathways that will enable learners to begin their New Zealand journey from their home country and then transfer directly into qualifications offered in New Zealand.

    We've already made a good start around our exploration of offshore pathway models with the Global New Zealand Education Pathways partnership with NCUK and New Zealand’s eight universities, launched December 2020.

    Our overall goal is to support our established model of in-bound mobility with new and different ways of learning and in the long-term grow the overall value of our industry. Additionally, we want to ensure we maximise international education’s contribution to New Zealand’s wider international connectedness.

    As Minister Mahuta said in a recent speech, “I believe that diplomacy is intergenerational in intent, where we put people, planet, peace and prosperity for all at the centre.”

    Our international education offerings across in-bound and out-bound mobility, including blended, online and offshore delivery, can all be key enablers of this wider vision for our people and planet.

    How are we going to do it?

    The project team is currently exploring ideas around both innovative means of connecting with audiences (i.e. technology and channels), but also ideas for the evolution of education products, services and experiences that we might offer to international learners. 

    As a first step, ENZ ran an envisioning workshop in December with a range of innovation leaders from across different industries. From this, we’ve gained a draft vision of direction for future product and service offerings, and identified a set of emerging strategic themes.

    The next step was taking these themes, ideas and concepts from December’s workshop and exploring further with govt agencies, and in a subsequent envisioning workshop with the same group of innovation leaders.

    These workshops, and future sessions with members of the sector, learners and other stakeholders will co-design around agreed themes, from which ENZ will develop prototypes to test in association with the sector and potential audiences.

    The project team and I are very much looking forward to updating and involving you as we progress in this co-design and prototype process over the next few months. We will make sure to keep you updated and aware of opportunities for engagement through E-News, your Business Development Manager, and your peak body.

    Ngā mihi,

    Paul Irwin

    ENZ General Manager – Partnerships & Marketing

  • Lifeswap premiere celebrates friendship between New Zealand and Germany

    The final two episodes of the cult-hit webseries Lifeswap, ‘Laughing Matters’ and ‘Die Brücke’, concluded the animated adventures of Duncan and Jörg – the German and Kiwi friends who helped one another understand a new culture.

    ‘Laughing Matters’ tells the story of Jörg, who had an excellent experience in New Zealand, and (due to his preparedness for the future) was accepted into one of New Zealand’s most innovative and technologically advanced companies ‘Rockets R Us’.

    The episodes were commissioned by ENZ and the Germany Embassy respectively.

    Watch the Lifeswap creators, ENZ-ers, and our stakeholders talk about the series and the NZ-Germany relationship at the premiere.

    “We were very fortunate to be able to celebrate Lifeswap with its creators Steffen Kreft – who was himself an international student at Massey University in Wellington – and William Connor, and their many fans at a live event at Wellington’s Embassy Theatre,” ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson said.

    “After a year of restricted international travel and very few in-person events, it was a reminder that global education connection and cooperation has not stopped.

    “The Lifeswap series highlights how the longstanding friendship between New Zealand and Germany transcends the situation we find ourselves in. It is a very powerful example of international education relationships keeping New Zealand globally connected while travel is limited.” 

    Following the launch of Laughing Matters – which built on the success of the first joint ENZ Lifeswap episode Group Effort in which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had a cameo appearance – the partnership is also being shared with key partners and audiences in Germany as part of ENZ's Americas, Middle East and Europe Education Week.

    To leverage the popularity of the new episode and the wealth of the important topics it deals with, ENZ is working with a PR agency in Germany to tell this positive story more widely.

    The PR engagement will involve a mix of approaches, including traditional media, social media and partnering with influencers, to ensure we reach a wide audience on all relevant channels.

    ENZ General Manager – International, Lisa Futschekworked with Kreft and Connor for months on ‘Laughing Matters’.

    “It’s a great fit for Education New Zealand to be working with such creative people who are telling a fantastic story about the friendship between New Zealand and Germany.”

    Also in attendance was the German Ambassador to New Zealand, his Excellency Stefan Krawielicki.

    In his speech to the audience, the Ambassador noted how the humour of Lifeswap allows New Zealanders and Germans to laugh at themselves, and understand our differences.

    “It’s such an enriching experience for young people to go to New Zealand – or for young people to go to Germany – and learn about different approaches and shared values,” he said.

    “Education is a bridge builder and makes young people [become] lifelong ambassadors.”

    Lifeswap dates back to 2013, when creators and partners Kreft and Connor began to work together, pooling their considerable skills in language, animation, and cultural competency.

    The pair said at the premiere that while they’re sad to leave Duncan and Jörg behind, their story is complete.

    “It’s probably a little bit like what parents feel like when their kids are going to study overseas,” Kreft says.

    Watch the complete Lifeswap series on YouTube or Vimeo.

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