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  • ANZA workshop

    Education New Zealand’s Channel Development Manager Kaye Le Gros presented the Think New brand and the New Zealand Education Story to agents in a seminar that showcased New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand also presented immigration updates at the seminar. 

    Almost 100 education institutions attended the three day workshop, including 44 from New Zealand, along with around 60 work and travel organisations and service providers. 

    Agents from 50 countries were there, all focused on sending students and youth travellers to our side of the world.

    For the first time, Brazil was the top agent country, reflecting the popularity of New Zealand and Australia as study destinations for Brazilian students.

    Next year’s workshop is coming to New Zealand – mark 28-30 April 2015 in your diary for the workshop at Sky City in Auckland. Kaye says this will be a great opportunity for regions and groups to consider familiarisation visits for agents visiting New Zealand in 2015. 

  • Activity in India

    Shopping mall campaign

    Crowds flock to the shopping malls to avoid the summer heat and monsoon rains, and through the use of highly branded booths and several promoters we were able to connect with India’s growing middle class in these key metros.

    The shopping mall promotion coincided with our digital campaign in India, and secured more than 1,000 campaign registrations across both venues.

    Whitireia opens new office

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    Whitireia New Zealand announced the opening of its Bangalore office in India in July, adding to its existing office in New Delhi which opened in 2012. 

    Whitireia aims to use the new Bangalore office to service its key stakeholders in South India, as well as developing new relationships. The office will support Whitireia’s strategy to grow student numbers and business development opportunities in South India. 

    New Zealand High Commissioner Grahame Morton and Education New Zealand’s Regional Director South and South East Asia Ziena Jalil officiated at the ribbon cutting and plaque unveiling ceremony. Gavin Young, Trade Commissioner-Mumbai was also present at the occasion. The office opening was followed by an agent briefing session, a media round table and a networking reception. There has been significant media coverage of the opening. 

    “We are delighted to see the establishment of a southern Indian presence for yet another New Zealand education institution and we commend Whitireia on this move.

    "Education New Zealand is committed to growing the number of students New Zealand receives from south India and seeing the active participation of our institutions in this market it is an excellent endorsement of that goal,” said Ziena. 

  • Brazilian university professors visit

    Last month Education New Zealand and MFAT joined forces with Latino New Zealand to host representatives from top Brazilian universities on a visit to New Zealand. The visit aimed to establish institution to institution links between universities of the two countries, to increase the Brazilian institutions’ understanding of our universities and to raise our profile in the Science Without Borders programme.

    Eight Brazilian universities participated in the visit, including State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG) and Paulista State University (UNESP), all ranked in the top 500 in world.

    The visiting professors met with representatives from all eight of our universities as well as with ENZ, UNZ and the Brazilian Ambassador in New Zealand. 

    This is the first significant contact between the universities of the two countries and all of the participating universities were very keen to establish long-term research linkages with New Zealand institutions. Most of the Brazilian universities represented are well resourced in various areas of research, particularly in areas such as agriculture and plant and animal sciences.

    As a result of the visit, ENZ has received invitations to present to some of the universities and one of the professors also offered to join the New Zealand SWB presentation at his university to share his positive experience in New Zealand. Most of the visiting professors have also uploaded photos of their trip on Facebook and their university pages where they will be widely viewed by their contacts and university communities.

    Brazil is New Zealand’s largest source country for international students in Latin America. Traditionally Brazilian students come to New Zealand for short-term language courses, but in recent years we have seen an increase in the number of students from the school sector, mainly due to the Pernambuco state’s Win the World scholarship programme.

    Since New Zealand joined the Science without Borders (SWB) scheme in 2013, more than 170 Brazilian students have studied in New Zealand under the undergraduate sandwich programme.

    Although the undergraduate sandwich (study abroad) awards take up the majority of the SWB funding, the programme also funds full PhD and sandwich PhD studies. A new Masters programme has also been established and ENZ and UNZ are currently working on New Zealand’s inclusion in this programme.

    SWB also provides the following awards:

    • Inbound Fellowships which aim to bring early-career researchers and senior scholars to Brazilian universities and research centres.

    • Young Talent awards fully fund one to three year research stays in Brazil with an attractive package including round-trip tickets, relocation expenses, a tax-free highly competitive lecturer-level monthly allowance, a contribution toward research costs and funding for research assistantship.

    • Special Visiting Researcher Programme for joint projects with research groups in Brazil and work in the country for up to three months every year over two to three years. A generous grant is available to researchers including round-trip tickets for every annual visit, a tax-free highly competitive senior-level monthly allowance, a contribution toward research costs and funding for a sandwich PhD at home and a Post-doctoral Fellowship in Brazil.

    • Offshore Technological and Innovation Development awards that support the participation of Brazilian researchers, specialists and technicians in development and training activities overseas.

  • Roundtable explores distance education recognition

    The roundtable involved senior officials from Chinese education agencies and representatives from the University of Otago, Massey University, New Zealand Qualifications Authority, Universities New Zealand and Education New Zealand.

    The recognition of New Zealand distance education programmes has been an item of discussion between New Zealand and Chinese authorities for many years. Currently all foreign qualifications delivered by distance, or with a distance component, are not recognised by Chinese authorities.

    “This isn’t a New Zealand-specific issue,” says ENZ's Regional Director Alexandra Grace.  “We are very much at first steps, in terms of building understanding of how we assure quality outside of traditional face-to-face qualification delivery. Greater understanding of our processes may also contribute to China’s domestic reform of its local distance qualifications."

    The New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement signed in 2008 included commitments to undertake work on “evaluation of the quality assurance criteria for qualifications which include a distance delivery component.”

    Discussions on the recognition of New Zealand distance education qualifications have been ongoing since then.

    The roundtable showcased Otago University’s renowned Master in Aviation Medicine qualification which is fully taught by distance and has been offered for over 26 years. Over 100 students are currently studying the programme from the Middle East, North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Graduates of the programme meet internationally recognised ‘best practice’ standards for aviation medicine practitioners and are frequently employed by airlines including Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Qantas.

    The roundtable also featured Massey University’s Master’s degree programmes in Veterinary Medicine (Biosecurity) and Public Health (Biosecurity) which has been completed by nine senior Chinese officials. The qualifications, which require four months to be spent at Massey and the remainder by distance study from China (one year in total), represent collaboration in teaching between Massey’s teaching and research groups, EpiCentre, and the Centre for Public Health Research. 

    Further work is slated on sharing of information and best practice.

  • PM announces widened Game On English in Japan

    Launched by Prime Ministers Abe and Key in July 2014 and piloted with two groups from Japan last year, the programme has now expanded beyond rugby to include rowing and golf.

    Surrounded by past-participants and hopeful future participants of the programme, PM Key noted the importance of building both English language and sporting skills for Japan’s youth in the lead up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics. Tokyo will be a host city for the RWC and will also host the Olympics and Paralympics.

    Ran Aoki, who participated in last year’s pilot programme, and Shunsuke Hoshitani, a hopeful for this year’s programme, greeted Prime Minister Key in English and welcomed him to Japan. They thanked Governor Masuzoe for the opportunity and said that they both aim to represent Japan at the 2019 RWC and 2020 Olympics.

    Education New Zealand’s Senior Market Development Manager, Fiona Haiko, commented “At the moment there is a real appetite in Japan for fresh ideas and programmes that not only develop English language skills, but also develop a broader skill set, whether it be in sporting or other areas.  Initial feedback and interest in the programme is encouraging.”

    Below: PM Key and Tokyo Governor Masuzoe with (L) Shunsuke Hoshitani and (R) Ran Aoki. Back row: Representatives of the Kanto Super League (KSL) teams who participated in the pilot last year and will participate again this year.

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  • International Student Barometer results

    What can we do differently to meet and exceed students’ expectations?

    The 2014 English Language Sector (ELS) and Private Training Establishment (PTE) International Student Barometer (ISB) surveys were commissioned by Education New Zealand to investigate the decision-making, expectations, perceptions and experiences of over 2,000 international students enrolled with New Zealand providers. 

    The ISB surveys also incorporate a global benchmark to provide an indication of how New Zealand compares to other countries offering English language learning and niche education such as that offered by PTEs.

    Overall, students rate their study experience in New Zealand highly – above the global benchmark for both sectors. Students’ inclination to recommend their institution is above the global average 2012 for the ELS, but slightly below the global average for the PTE sector.

    Interactive seminars for PTE and ELS providers were held last week as an opportunity for providers to delve a little deeper into the findings and examine best practice activity.

    Participants in both seminars were in agreement that the setting and meeting of expectations, and opportunities to meet and interact with New Zealanders were priorities going forward.  

    Other areas identified by participants for consideration included:
    • The need to address the sense of isolation from school and community that some students feel by facilitating involvement in community, cultural and groups and sports clubs.

    • Providing timely and accurate information to the student before they arrive in New Zealand, on the programme of study and on the New Zealand lifestyle and Kiwi culture.

    • With social networking sites ranking low in importance as an influencer for choice of institution should organisations rethink their marketing activities?

    • The provision of tailored pathways advice for students progressing to further study or into employment.

  • Et4e registrations open

    The impressive line-up of international speakers includes Frank Catalano of Intrinsic Strategy, who will bring a US-based view of edtech trends, and Hong Kong and Japan-based Allison Baum of Fresco Capital who will cover edtech investment in the high growth Asian region. 

    Of equally high calibre are the local speakers and panellists: Frances Valintine of The Mind Lab by Unitec will inspire delegates with her use of technology and global approach, and Education Perfect’s CEO and 2014 Internet Entrepreneur of the Year, Craig Smith, will contribute to the panel discussion on developing products and services in response to demand. Sharing tips on how to tackle export markets will be the focus for two panels made up of experienced exporters such as South Pacific Press, ADInstruments/Kura Cloud and more recent entrants to the world of exporting such as Kiwa Digital, as well as successful start-ups such as Boardingware.  

    The diverse and entrepreneurial edtech community is made of up education publishers, game developers, ICT companies and educationalists and the et4e conference provides great opportunities for making connections.  Delegates are often on the lookout for new ideas and partners to collaborate with.  An educational publisher who attended the first et4e conference in 2013 was inspired to form a new company with a game developer. In the space of two years, this has led to the launch and export of a new early childhood literacy product, Bud-E Reading. 

    Et4e is organised by Education New Zealand and Grow Wellington in recognition of the edtech sector’s growing contribution to export growth in international education. New Zealand’s high quality and innovative education system, combined with its entrepreneurial and creative culture, is the perfect ecosystem for the development of leading-edge edtech products and services.  Huffington Post recently cited the Hamilton-based company, CodeAvengers, as one of its top ten online learning sites to watch in 2015.  CodeAvengers founder Michael Walmsley Jr. will be a panellist at this year’s conference.

    Educational Technology is an exciting and growing sector – it is currently worth $86 billion globally and is forecast to grow to $257 billion by 2017. Find out more about et4e 2015 and take advantage of the early bird tickets. 

  • Focus on Regional Growth

    This is at the heart of our Regional Partnership Programme, currently involving 13 active regional groups and supporting a wide range of activity, from development of strategies and implementation plans to innovative collaborative marketing and shared services models.

    Earlier this year, regional coordinators from across the country participated in a workshop to share ideas and identify priorities. Common themes included; strategies for working together with local and regional government, the need for robust regional leadership and governance, and the benefits of developing shared services and resources.

    “Regional collaboration is a natural platform for innovation and adding destination value for our customers,” says Greg Scott, Business Development Manager. “There is an enthusiasm across the country for working together and some exciting new developments.”

    Two examples from the South Island of initiatives funded by the Regional Partnership Programme recently are:

    • a Work Ready Programme being piloted by Study Dunedin, working with Enterprise Dunedin, to offer a six-week seminar based programme at the University of Otago, designed for international students who want to find employment in New Zealand after graduation;

    • an India Skills Scholarship Programme developed by Christchurch Educated, working with the Canterbury Development Corporation offering graduate tertiary qualification pathways to employment. One of the first successful graduate engineers has just finished with an A-grade average and is working for construction company, Ganellen, on the Christchurch rebuild.

    Enquiries about the Regional Partnership Programme are welcome at any time, and can be made by emailing greg.scott@enz.govt.nz.

  • NZ admissions staff key to sustainable industry

    There are relatively small numbers of people working in the area of international qualifications in New Zealand, so training and the sharing of knowledge is vital.

    To support this need for professional development, AUT and ENZ jointly hosted UK NARIC to run training sessions on 17 and 18 September for New Zealand admissions staff. The workshop also provided a valuable opportunity for admissions staff from around the country to share their knowledge and expertise.   

    UK NARIC is the designated United Kingdom national agency responsible for providing information, advice and expert opinion on vocational, academic and professional skills and qualifications from over 180 countries worldwide.

    The sessions were well attended and well received. Here’s some of the feedback, grouped under each of the four training session topics.  

    Evaluating International Qualifications.

    This session provided some guidance in the all-important area of qualification evaluation.
    • This session helped me to understand different models of education and evaluation process of international qualifications. Among the four traditional education models of: Anglo- Scottish, American, Humboldt and Napoleonic. The first two models are quite straight forward, unlike the last two!

    • Exercises in identifying which model to apply where, gave us better understanding of the entry requirements, duration, progression route and qualification comparison the various qualifications.

    • I now have a greater understanding on what to request and look for while checking and accepting documents.

    Degrees of Deception.

    This session looked at the worldwide problem of applicants presenting fraudulent documents to ensure a place in a learning institute.
    • The overview, general and brief as it was, gave me a starting point as to the kinds of alterations to look for when presented with a document for assessing.

    • A major part of an admissions staffer’s daily workload includes deciphering international documents and recognising the difference between acceptable and fraudulent qualifications. The NARIC training course has made me think twice and question things I may have otherwise not thought about.

    Education in China.

    This session gave an overview of the structure of the education systems in China.
    • As well as gaining a general understanding of the Chinese education system in different provinces, I found the session on numbers and dates in Chinese characters particularly helpful, as it helped me get a precise understanding of the course duration, start date and completion date in order to verify authenticity of the translation. Also, the exercise we did identifying Chinese characters to confirm the school and entry to higher education will help me to understand Chinese certificates more easily.

    • The other interesting exercise was identifying the authenticity of the certificate by looking at its serial number. After this session I am clear about how to read the transcript and the completion certificate.

    Education in North America.

    This session gave an overview of the structure of the education systems in North America.

    My top three takeaways from this session were:
    • There is no national qualifications framework in Canada, thus there is a lot of variation in education between the provinces.

    • There is also no national accrediting body in Canada to evaluate the quality of all degree programmes, although a number of regulatory authorities perform this function for programmes in professional subjects at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    • Many countries in the Caribbean have very few nationally accredited higher education institutions, so links with international universities to offer recognised qualifications are common

    Ways in which the training will change or improve the way I work:
    • More knowledge of the education systems in North America will make it easier and more efficient to assess applicants from this area, as less time will be spent looking up information.

    A particular challenge in my job that is now made easier since having the training:
    • The training provided specific information on the difference between vocational and academic Associate Degrees from the United States. This was useful as we only accept Academic Associate Degrees for University Entrance and it was previously not always easy to identify if the qualification was academic or vocational.

  • Notice: Brief shut down of INZ’s online client accounts in late May

    This means that education agents and providers will not be able to access their online client accounts for four days, from 8am NZT on Saturday, 28 May.

    New online applications will not be possible during this period, except for working holiday visas and skilled migrant category expressions of interest. Hard copy paper applications will still be accepted.

    IDme

    IDme will significantly improve INZ’s ability to confirm a person’s identity, making it a vital new protection against identity fraud by visa applicants.

    The system will enable biometric information (face photographs and fingerprints) from visa applicants to be uploaded online and automatically matched against personal information already held by INZ.

    IDme will be released in two tranches – the first release, from 31 May, will enable automated matching of all biographic details (personal data), fingerprints and a small volume of facial photographs. The second release, in the last quarter of 2016, will allow automated matching of all photographs.

    IDme is the latest in a series of business changes known collectively as Immigration ONLINE. Better customer service is a key aim of these changes, which include:

    • online applications for student, work and visitor visas

    • third party “apply on behalf” for INZ partners such as immigration advisors, and

    •  eVisas (passport-free and label-less visas).

    The next new service will enable families and tour groups to apply online using a single form. Once this happens, 80 percent of visa types by volume will be available online.

    Sitting behind these new services are business changes that standardise best practice and apply consistent, measurable quality standards across INZ. Traditional visa processing tasks will reduce as customers increasingly go online to apply for visas and check their visa status.

    New acceptable photo rules

    Photos can still be submitted online along with application forms, but they must now meet strict approval guidelines to avoid rejection by the system. INZ recommends that applicant photos be taken by a professional photographer or a business set up to take passport-quality photos.

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