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  • 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.”

  • New student forum for NauMai NZ WeChat mini programme

    Education New Zealand’s NauMai NZ platform is designed to inform, support and empower international students.

    A WeChat mini programme – an app designed for the WeChat ecosystem popular with Chinese students – has extended NauMai NZ’s reach, attracting over 12,000 users in its first year.

    The NauMai NZ WeChat mini programme helps students make the most of their New Zealand experience, with advice on everything from finding a part-time job and knowing their rental rights to looking after their wellbeing and understanding Kiwi English. There are also stories from students about their lives – for instance, people sharing ideas on what to do during their summer in New Zealand.

    “We know that Chinese students prefer to connect with each other in their language, on the WeChat channel they trust,” says Faymie Li, Senior Advisor for Student Experience at ENZ.

    “We’re delighted to see how much they enjoy this digital platform and how quickly it’s growing. It’s great to be able to connect Chinese students to each other and to people who’re willing to help them out.”

    The WeChat mini programme has now run six livestreams hosted by experts, alumni and current international students on topics including employability, how to grow your network, and mental health and wellbeing. Students tuning in to watch can use the chat feature to ask questions.

    The livestreams have attracted a total of nearly 3,000 live views with over 18,000 engagements during the live events and, so far, more than 1,000 views afterwards.

    The WeChat mini programme has now added a new forum so that Chinese students and alumni can better share their life and study experiences and support one another. The text-based, moderated forum allows students to have their questions answered by their peers.

    A group of international students have signed on as ambassadors for the WeChat forum, including alumni from the Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia programme. One of the forum ambassadors, Mengdi Zhang, says she’s looking forward to connecting with newer students.

    “I am excited to be a student ambassador so that any students with unresolved questions can reach out. I can see my own past in the students’ questions, and I hope to help them through to a better experience in New Zealand,” she said.

    If you would like to know more about the NauMai NZ WeChat mini programme, contact You can share it with others using the WeChat QR code.

  • Updated timeframe for the re-opening of New Zealand's borders

    Note: The information in this story was correct at the time of publication, however, some steps in New Zealand's border reopening plan have now been brought forward. Click here to check the current border reopening steps.

    “To slow the rapid spread we have seen overseas, we are pushing out the start of non-MIQ travel until the end of February 2022”, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. 

    You can read the full announcement from the Government here.

    The Government has not yet announced the date from which any specific group of foreign nationals, such as international students, will be able to travel to New Zealand or apply for visas to do so.

    Until then, New Zealand’s current border settings will remain in place. Most people outside New Zealand cannot apply for a visa unless they have a border exception. There are limited border exceptions for international students.

    New Zealand suspended most offshore visa applications from August 2020 and that suspension currently extends to August 2022. The Government may decide to lift the suspension, in whole or in part, before August 2022 – in line with its decisions on the stages of the border re-opening.

    It is Education New Zealand’s view that it is better for international students, education providers and agents to wait for certainty on border entry conditions before making new plans or commitments to students.

    At this stage, in most cases, if international students who are now in New Zealand leave, they will not be able to return to the country for the start of the 2022 academic year. They will need to wait to apply for visas and to travel to New Zealand until the dates the Government sets for them to do so.

    At Education New Zealand we understand how much international students and education providers have been through during the COVID-19 pandemic.  We will keep students and providers up to date with the Government’s decisions as they are announced.

    We are looking forward to welcoming international students back to New Zealand.

    More information

    Find out more about visas from Immigration New Zealand if: 

    Find out more about New Zealand’s response to COVID-19:


  • ENZ unleashes the potential of Prime Minister’s Scholarships alumni

    The first-ever event for alumni of the Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia and Latin America was hosted by Education New Zealand in November 2021.

    The scholarships, administered by ENZ, enable New Zealanders to study, research or intern in Asia or Latin America. Since 2013, more than 2,400 group and individual scholarships have been awarded.

    The virtual event – Hono Mai: a call to connect – drew together alumni from all walks of life, based in New Zealand and around the world.

    They heard guest speakers from the Asia New Zealand Foundation and the Latin America New Zealand Business Council, held speed networking sessions in small groups on the EventsAir platform, and joined in challenges and trivia questions.

    ENZ’s Global Citizens Manager, Carla Rey Vasquez, says the event was designed and driven by alumni, for alumni.

    “Our global citizenship work aims to equip New Zealanders with the competencies to engage with the wider world, build connections with people from other countries and cultures, and take action on the things that matter to them.

    “Alumni have so many rich, diverse relationships around the world which can be used to support and uplift each other. Hono Mai is about sharing those relationships to help alumni achieve their own goals within their own communities,” she says.

    One of the alumni involved in organising the event was Robyn Scrimshaw, who studied Chinese law and language in Shanghai with a Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia in 2014.

    “Everyone had such a great experience on the trip; the event was about bringing that magic together and connecting everyone’s experiences in one place,” she says.

    Now working as an urban planner in Tauranga, Robyn still draws on her experience of “different perceptions of public and private spaces” in the Chinese cities she visited. 

    Plans are underway for more networking events for Prime Minister’s Scholarships alumni in 2022.

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