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  • 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.

  • Think New with FutureLearn


    About the campaign

    Campaign messaging

    Tips for promoting the campaign

    Check out the Brand Lab to download and use campaign assets

    About the campaign


    1. Test an online-focused audience’s appetite for courses delivered under an NZ country brand
    2. Explore sector capability and willingness for generating and promoting online courses
    3. Test, understand and validate ENZ's role in the online education space
    4. Maintaining awareness of the NZ Education brand and NZ as an education destination in target markets

    FutureLearn platform and courses

    • New Zealand’s offerings include short courses from leading universities, English language schools, vocational PTEs, Institutes of Technology, and edtech educators including virtual reality developers and game designers.
    • These not for credit courses are on average 6-8 hours long from providers across the sector. 
    • FutureLearn is a global online education platform jointly owned by the UK’s Open University and The SEEK Group with an existing community of approximately 15 million learners globally. 
    • These courses are available to learners (including teachers and educators) all over the world, including here in New Zealand.

    FutureLearn is actively promoting this campaign in the following prototype markets: 

    • Thailand​, Japan​, Korea​, China​, India​, Brazil​, Indonesia​, USA​, Vietnam, Germany​, UK, Colombia 

    In addition, ENZ will be promoting this opportunity to its global learner database, and through other owned channels, including website and social media. 

    Campaign messaging

    By joining forces and sharing the same message, we can tell a stronger, more consistent story about the FutureLearn prototype, and the opportunity it represents.

    The Campaign’s place in the wider strategy for international education

    • ENZ is leading a programme of work that focuses on the diversification of international education products and services. It forms part of the Government’s Recovery Plan for International Education, under the “Transforming to a More Sustainable Future State” workstream.  
    • The New Zealand International Education Strategy, 2018 is clear in its goals for achieving a thriving and globally connected New Zealand through world-class international education.  
    • Goal 2 of the Strategy is Sustainable Growth - the international education sector flourishes through diversification of markets, people flows and innovative products and services. 

    Talking points for providers

    • We are proud to be part of ENZ’s new pilot, launched with FutureLearn.
    • This initiative will showcase a selection of taster courses from New Zealand providers to worldwide online learners, under the national Think New brand umbrella.
    • The 12-month initiative launched 8 June and is part ENZ’s Diversifying Products and Services programme of work.
    • By taking part, we are supporting the Government’s Recovery Plan for International Education.

    Provider participation benefits
    These messages are useful when talking about the campaign to other staff in your organisation

    • This initiative is an opportunity to further raise our profile to a global audience, benefiting from the exposure generated by FutureLearn and the ENZ-funded global campaign.
    • We’re able to test a new recruitment and distribution channel at little cost.
    • As providers, we receive notification of any further interest generated by these online courses, which could lead to further study opportunities – either online (on FutureLearn or elsewhere), or onshore when current border restrictions sufficiently ease.
    • As part of the process FutureLearn worked alongside providers like us, supporting us while we created (or optimised) content for the platform.
    • Standard membership fees are being waived by FutureLearn for this prototype.
    • ENZ is also funding a global campaign via FutureLearn to promote the prototype.

    More about FutureLearn

    • FutureLearn offer courses from around 250 providers from around the world. These courses range from tasters to full online degrees.
    • 15 million learners use the platform. Many (27%) users are UK-based but increasing numbers of learners across the globe are accessing FutureLearn.

    Tips for promoting the campaign

    By aligning our marketing activity, ENZ and providers can tell clear and consistent message about the online study courses available with FutureLearn and providers. Here are some tips to start promoting your FutureLearn courses on your channels:

    Tip 1: Use the digital assets available in your promotions:

    There are plenty of campaign assets designed with campaign messaging available for you to use now on The Brand Lab. Assets have been specifically created to use across websites, emails, social channels & other digital advertising.

    Check out The Brand Lab to download and use images, animated tiles, email signatures, an editable ad template where you can feature your own logo and much more!

    Tip 2: Share our FutureLearn & Online Learning blogs

    We’ve created a blog for a learner audience to promote starting a New Zealand education online, through the FutureLearn product. Check out the blog here and share on your own social channels or website.

    We also have supporting blog content written by students for learners thinking about online learning. You can also share this blog, and link to FutureLearn’s Study with New Zealand Online page

    Tip 3: Follow and share FutureLearn’s posts on Study in New Zealand Facebook & Instagram channels

    ENZ will be posting about New Zealand online study options on our Facebook and Instagram channels. You can easily share & repost this content on your own social channels to reach your own audience. This Facebook post is ready to share now.

  • Education New Zealand nominated for three upcoming awards

    ENZ recognised for Gilman Scholarship mahi

    Education New Zealand has been selected as a finalist in the 2021 AmCham - DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards. The awards, run by the American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand, celebrate the success and innovation of companies doing business with the United States.

    ENZ is a finalist in the Bilateral Connections category and our entry focusses on how our Gilman Scholarship funding and other initiatives underway with US federal agencies and education institutions are helping build lasting connections between New Zealand and the United States through education. The winners will be announced at a function in Auckland on 26 August.

    ENZ's digital China ecosystem recognised in China Business Awards

    ENZ is a finalist in the 2021 HSBC NZCTA China Business Awards, New Zealand's preeminent awards for recognising business success in China. ENZ is nominated for the United Media Solution Award for Digital Excellence in Business between China and New Zealand, for our China digital ecosystem and experience work.

    Tū Ngātahi nominated in prestigious marketing awards

    ENZ's Tū Ngātahi campaign, delivered by Special Group, has been selected as a finalist in the Designers Institute of New Zealand Best Design Awards. Tū Ngātahi calls for New Zealanders to stand together with our international student community and send a message of empathy and support. It is nominated in the Public Good category.

  • First-ever New Zealand Global Competence Certificate with teachers from across Asia wraps up

    Over five weeks, the group completed 10 virtual sessions and 20 self-directed online modules. They learnt skills crucial to cultural competence, like how to build bridges in multicultural situations and how to break down stereotypes.

    This cohort received very positive feedback from those involved in the course, from learners to facilitators. Tran Nguyen Trinh Nguyen, a teacher from Gia Dinh High School, said:

    “After the course, I am more confident in embracing the differences that other people around me have. I am more eager to challenge myself to become a better listener, a better conflict solver and a more dynamic global citizen.”

    Videos on this cohort’s NZGCC journey and appreciation messages from learners and facilitators can be viewed here.

    This teacher cohort, alongside a recent students’ cohort, has also worked to lift the profile of New Zealand education in the Asia region – particularly in Vietnam. The team has received an overwhelming number of applications for the next NZGCC teachers’ course: 171 applications for the 25 available places.

    “By organising these special NZGCC cohorts, we hope to equip both teachers and students with additional knowledge and skills that supports their daily work and study, and enables them to thrive in what is an increasingly globally connected world,” ENZ Regional Director – Asia, Ben Burrowes, said.

    “We believe that the training programmes will open up more education linkages between all participating schools and when travel resumes, we look forward to seeing more Vietnamese teachers and students in New Zealand for in-person exchange programmes.

    Educators interested in participating in future cohorts can contact to find out more.

  • Big audience for ECE symposium streamed live from China

    The New Zealand-China Early Childhood Education Symposium streamed live from Qingdao in Shandong Province in September, attracting an audience of around 24,000 viewers on a Chinese language streaming service, 170 at the venue and dozens more online from Norway, Mexico and Turkey.

    The audience for the symposium, organised by Education New Zealand, has grown 20-fold since the first event in 2020, proving the appeal of events streamed in several languages.

    The theme of this year’s symposium was the best practice for developing high-quality early childhood education (ECE) teachers.

    Data from 2020 show there were over 48 million children enrolled in Chinese kindergartens and a shortage of nearly 300,000 full-time ECE teachers.

    Delegates heard from New Zealand experts at the Ministry of Education, the University of Auckland, the Open Polytechnic, AUT, Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood New Zealand and Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology.

    Toi Ohomai presenter Dr Rosemary Richards spoke from New Zealand on how to interact with children on visual art. She welcomes chances like these to share her work with a large and diverse audience.

    “In this increasingly globalised world of education, it is important for educators to find ways to have meaningful connections that extend our intercultural and professional understandings,” Dr Richards says.

    “The online symposium and live streaming also allowed for connections with wider communities and audiences that are not possible in traditional formats. Perhaps our future holds more potential for a combination of both.”

    ENZ worked with the China Ministry of Education and the China Centre for International People-to-People Exchange to organise the symposium.

    Local organisers included the Qingdao Municipal Education Bureau, the China National Society of Early Childhood Education, the Qingdao Preschool Education College and the Shanghai Institute of Early Childhood Education under Shanghai Normal University.

    New Zealand and China collaborate on early childhood education under the mechanism of the Joint Working Group on Education and Training, last held in February 2021.

    Want to know more about the symposium or upcoming ENZ initiatives in China? Contact

    The University of Auckland’s Dr Marek Tesar and Dr Kiri Gould gave a keynote presentation on the pathway to becoming an ECE teacher. Audience members could scan the QR code on the screen to connect on WeChat.

  • International students get behind Super Saturday vaccine drive

    A group of students showed their concern and social responsibility by telling their stories to The New Zealand Herald ahead of the Super Saturday vaccination drive on 16 October 2021.

    Education New Zealand Chief Executive Grant McPherson said it was great to see international students getting involved in the vaccination effort.

    “New Zealand reaching its 90% vaccination target will aid in our recovery and bring us one step closer to welcoming more international students to Aotearoa,” he says.

    “These are people who bring an array of benefits to community wellbeing, our global relationships, a productive workforce, a strong education system and enabling trade and diplomacy.”

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