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  • International Student Hardship Fund now fully allocated

    The fund first opened for applications on 21 May. It was met with immediate interest by a wide variety of education institutions and community groups.

    A cross-ENZ team named Kāhui Oranga was charged with the fund’s administration. They met twice weekly to go through applications and ensure a balanced allocation of funds between regions, sectors and institutions.

    Education providers and community organisations are disseminating grants from the fund to international students in the form of cash grants, food parcels and accommodation support.

    ENZ Director of Student Experience and Global Citizens, Sahinde Pala, led Kāhui Oranga. She says the government was glad to be able to offer international students tangible support in such an uncertain time.

    “At ENZ we talk a lot about manaakitanga – the offering of hospitality and respect to guests. We really want every student that comes to New Zealand to feel valued,” she says.

    “It was obvious once the impacts of COVID-19 began to be felt here that we needed to offer our international students most in need extra support during these difficult times.”

    Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Poto Williams, announced the Assistance for Foreign Nationals impacted by COVID-19 Programme.

    This $37.6 million fund will open on 1 July and be administered by the Department of Internal Affairs. International students experiencing serious hardship will be able to apply to this programme to receive support with basic needs such as food and accommodation.

    Read the announcement here.

  • Meet the team: John Goulter

    Could you please outline your own role and the role of the Stakeholders and Communications team?

    The Stakeholders and Communications team looks after the part of ENZ’s work that intersects with key external groups – such as other government departments, Ministers, Parliament and, through our various channels, the people of New Zealand.

    We try to get all those influences lined up in support of international education. Right now, thanks to COVID-19, there is more external focus on international education than there has been for years. We try to ensure it’s well-informed.

    How has COVID-19 impacted your team’s work, and what work do you have ahead of you with the recovery?

    Sometimes it seems like we have done nothing else since COVID-19 appeared on the horizon way back in January.

    It has brought to the surface some long-running issues about international education. It’s an opportunity for us to show leadership in outlining the future role of the sector, and developing interesting new approaches.

    John with ENZ Field Director - North America Lewis Gibson in Washington DC.

    Can you tell me a bit about your professional background?

    I was a journalist for a long time, mainly reporting politics from the Press Gallery in Parliament.

    I loved that at the time but I moved into public affairs roles because after a while in journalism I wanted to be influencing the way things happen, rather than just writing about them. 

    Journalism is now changing totally, like many sectors are. Some new models are emerging, but it’s a struggle in a country the size of New Zealand.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I like running and travelling and live music. So I’m not having a great year. Most running events have been cancelled or postponed, and so have all the concerts I had booked for.

    I listen to some podcasts, mainly about running and politics in the United States. It is hard for us to fathom the depth of the COVID-19 crisis they are going through.

    I actually liked a lot about our lockdown. It was good being a little family unit at home. I loved running on nearly empty roads. I took up Zoom yoga classes with my daughter in Christchurch. I wonder about what the new reality is going to look like for us all.

  • Registrations open: NZ Vocational Education and Training Research Forum

    The NZ Vocational Education and Training Research Forum (NZVETRF) is a multi-sector opportunity for discussing ‘what works’ in vocational education. In 2020, the forum will be delivered fully online, including international keynotes, and a curated programme of breakout sessions, along with interest based ‘hangouts’ and expert sessions.

    The new partnership with Skills International extends the reach of the forum to an international network, to learn from and contribute to global developments in VET to support the COVID-19 recovery efforts.

    CEO of The Skills Organisation, Garry Fissenden, says vocational education and training will be a critical component of the response to the employment, economic, and social shocks caused by COVID-19 around the world. He says:

    “With New Zealand’s vocational education sector embarking on a major reform, now more than ever is a time to come together to share evidence and capability of how vocational education and training can support skills and productivity, and wider wellbeing.”

    For more details, head to the NZVETRF website.

  • From the CE: Rebuilding and reshaping our sector

    The Recovery Plan for International Education, released in late July, is a plan to support the rebuild, recovery and reset of the international education sector with an eye on the future. It’s made up of three concurrent workstreams to stabilise, strengthen and transform international education.

    Since its release, Education New Zealand, with other government agencies, has been carrying out a short, focused engagement on the plan with our peak bodies and providers.

    So far, we’ve met with representatives from groups, including schools, some PTEs, parts of the university sector, ITPs and English language sectors, as well as the New Zealand International Students’ Association and EdTech NZ. And further meetings are scheduled.

    We have heard from you on a variety of topics. Naturally, the most common concern is around student re-entry. Other topics focused on encouraging cross-sector collaboration and hearing student voices as we rebuild our sector. We also know that each part of the sector has its own unique challenges and needs.

    These conversations are only the beginning of our engagement with you. There will be many more opportunities to discuss and collaborate as part of the strengthening and transforming workstreams of the Plan, and on the Government’s vision for international education.

    Next, the Ministry of Education and ENZ will co-host deep-dive workshops with sub-sectors on both the Recovery Plan and issues particular to them.

    You can read more on the overall Recovery Plan on ENZ’s website: Recovery Plan for International Education. This page will continue to be updated as our work develops.

    Here at ENZ, we have realigned our activities and resources to implement the Recovery Plan. We have launched our new business plan for 2020/2021, called Building a New Future. 

    There are major areas for us to focus on, including the retention of as many students already in New Zealand as possible, early re-entry of students, renewing and reshaping future options (such as different modes of delivery and student decision-making), and creating deeper understanding of the benefits of international education, both in New Zealand and globally. 

    I’d like to reinforce that throughout this change, the goals of New Zealand’s International Education Strategy – an excellent education and student experience, sustainable growth, and global citizens – remain our beacon on the hill.

    Finally, I’d like to thank you for meeting with us over what continues to be an incredibly difficult time. We value your honest feedback and look forward to continuing to work with you to rebuild and reshape international education,

    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

    Chief Executive Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao

     

  • Registrations open for ENZ Market Update Webinar – China

    ENZ's team in China has organised an industry webinar to introduce new team members, and offer local market updates and insights from external experts, including one of China’s largest education agencies.

    The team will share information around the initiatives they are progressing in-market and opportunities for New Zealand institutions to be involved.

    This is a great opportunity for New Zealand education providers to receive local in-market intelligence from ENZ staff and hear from Chinese education agents.

    ENZ Market Update Webinar – China

    When: Monday 28 September 2020, 3pm New Zealand time/10am Beijing time

    Please register at the link below:

    https://enz.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_m2v3xniOTz2eNp7j6tN_Qw

    And email any questions you’d like covered in the webinar to the ENZ China team at china@enz.govt.nz.

  • ENZ’s WeChat mini programme supports Chinese students

    There are currently more than 12,000 Chinese international students studying in New Zealand, and over 2,000 studying in China with New Zealand providers. Together, these groups make up 36 percent of NZ’s overall international student population.

    NauMai NZ was launched in May 2019.  Since then, the digital platform has had more than 9,000 students sign up, and it continues to support our international students as a key source of timely information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    NauMai is a valuable tool for international students, but analysing usage over the past 12 months reveals most Chinese students are not engaging with the platform. These students instead prefer to interact within WeChat, a Chinese social media platform with over a billion daily users.

    To better support our international Chinese students while they are in New Zealand, ENZ has launched an alternative “mini programme” within the WeChat environment.

    ENZ Student Experience Advisor Faymie Li explains how it will make it easier for Chinese students to engage with NauMai’s content. “The NauMai NZ WeChat mini programme will better serve our Chinese student population in New Zealand for two simple reasons: it’s on a platform that they are more familiar with and frequently use, and it’s in their language."

    As well as providing students with useful information, the mini programme will also provide a platform for students to engage with each other. Students will be able to share their New Zealand life and study experience and provide peer support to others.

    ENZ is hosting our first mini programme livestream with the theme ‘how to spend your summer in New Zealand’ on 28 October.

    Know students who use WeChat? They can sign up for our first livestream and start exploring the mini programme by searching ‘新西兰留学生活指南NauMai NZ or by scanning the QR code below.

  • Reconnecting New Zealanders to the world

    Where does international education fit in?

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a plan to reconnect New Zealanders to the world in 2022. 

    This framework is based on being able to maintain the elimination strategy, alongside a high coverage of vaccination, strong confidence in our system and a phased approach to opening the border.

    Read the Prime Minister’s announcement in full | Reconnecting New Zealand to the world on Unite Against COVID-19 site

    The key points of this plan are: 

    • To continue to speed up New Zealand’s vaccination rollout, and move to six weeks between doses so that more New Zealanders have immunity sooner.
    • Phased approach to reopening border in the second half of 2021, and set up of new testing and vaccine checking systems at the border.
    • Move to new, risk-based border settings that will establish low, medium and high-risk pathways into the country.

    New Zealand’s ability to reconnect with the world depends on these factors being successful.

    At this early stage, we can’t provide detail or any degree of certainty for students looking to apply for study in or book travel to New Zealand.

    Many New Zealand institutions are now offering new ways to study. If you’re wondering which study option might be right for you, visit Study With New Zealand New Ways of Learning.

    We suggest that agents, students and their families wait until policy announcements are made before booking any travel to study in New Zealand. We could expect to see more clarity on this later in the year.

     

    FAQs 

    When will New Zealand open up to the world?

    Work continues on developing the requirements for a phased approach to Reconnecting New Zealanders to the rest of the world in 2022. We could expect to see more clarity on this later in 2021.

    Read more about the next steps to reconnecting New Zealanders to the world.

    What do we know about timeframes for international students returning to New Zealand?

    While we are pleased to note that a number of international students have been able to return to New Zealand under the current class exceptions, we aren’t able to provide exact timeframes for a large-scale return for international students and providers.

    Managing our border doesn’t mean conditions will stay exactly as they are now, but it does mean that there are likely to be restrictions and requirements in place until at least December 2022.

    Can students apply for semester 1 2022 study?

    We would currently advise students not to plan for study in New Zealand for semester 1, 2022.

    Please note offshore temporary visa application lodgements are currently suspended till February 2022 and this may be extended. 

    International student class exceptions are a key priority for the Government, but we can’t predict timing on when a further cohort might be announced, or what MIQ capacity may look like at the time.

    Will the phased border approach outlined in the Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World announcements affect the temporary suspension of offshore visa application lodgements?

    The Government continues work on developing the requirements for a phased approach to Reconnecting New Zealanders to the rest of the world in 2022.  As such, no decisions have been made yet on how the border plan might affect offshore visa application lodgements.

    What is the Government’s position generally regarding international education?

    Despite the severity and complexity of the COVID-19 pandemic, and our ongoing commitment to its elimination strategy, the New Zealand Government remains committed to a thriving international education sector. 

    In a recent meeting with the international education sector, the Minister of Education highlighted the New Zealand Government’s support for the continued safe return of international students to New Zealand, when the time is right.

    How does the border approach affect the students coming into New Zealand under the border exception classes?

    It doesn’t. Existing processes for students to enter the country under existing border exception classes (the 250 PhD and postgraduate cohort and the 1000 bachelor's degree and above cohort) will remain in place.

    Read about the two international student border exceptions classes on the Immigration New Zealand website.

    How will New Zealand determine which countries are low, medium or high-risk?

    The government is currently working through how it will determine this.

    How will the phased border approach affect Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ)?

    Vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries will not be required to go through managed isolation facilities.

    Vaccinated travellers from medium-risk countries will have modified isolation requirements, the details of which are still to be worked through.

    Unvaccinated travellers and all travellers from high-risk countries will need to undergo 14 days in MIQ.

    Read more on the next steps of reconnecting New Zealanders to the world

    Would lockdowns in New Zealand affect the timing of the phased border approach?

    The New Zealand Government is committed to the elimination strategy and the successful rollout of vaccines. New Zealand’s border approach depends on our ability to stamp out clusters of COVID-19 as they arise, so there is some possibility that further lockdowns may delay the border approach.

    Will international students in New Zealand continue to receive free COVID-19 healthcare?

    Yes. Vaccines are available to everyone in New Zealand (12 years and over) free of charge. This includes international students.

    Read more about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout on the Ministry of Health website.

    All publicly funded COVID-19 related care – including testing, treatment and vaccinations – is provided to anyone who needs it, free of charge. 

  • An update from the ENZ Global Citizens team

    Introducing our Global Citizens Manager, Carla Rey Vasquez

    Carla joined ENZ in the new role of Global Citizens Manager, based in Wellington, in April. As part of her role with ENZ, she is leading the co-creation and implementation of the Global Citizenship strategy as a key enabler for international education.

    Prior to joining ENZ, Carla was actively engaged in cross-sector collaboration in her role at AFS, including educational institutions, experts, funders, peak bodies, and student groups – and had a focus on embedding and improving student experience and global citizenship outcomes across the AFS network for 12,000 students in over 60 organizations worldwide.

    ENZ's Global Citizenship team includes Senior Global Citizens Advisor Anna Dekker in a refocused role of Scholarships and Global Citizenship, and Global Citizens Advisor Tereska Thornton, who has a wide range experience across ENZ in various roles, including Acting International Market Manager for Korea and Japan.

    Over the past five months, the team have made some great strides in establishing the global citizens strategy for NZ, and some highlights from their work includes:

    Global Citizenship korero

    Two huis have already been held this year with educators, researchers, practitioners, change-makers and other supporters working on initiatives that promote global citizenship, and the related areas of global competence, intercultural learning, and intercultural competence. 

    The goals of the workshops were to: 

    • Map out the key players and activities within the Global Citizenship education field in Aotearoa New Zealand
    • Build a comprehensive understanding of the way in which organisations discuss and measure Global Citizenship, and values and frameworks unique to Aotearoa New Zealand.

    We are looking forward to our third session on 21 September. This session will be virtual due to current Alert Level restrictions but we hope to have another in-person hui before the end of the year.

    Please email Carla (carla.reyvasquez@enz.govt.nz) if you wish to be involved.

    Online connector event for Prime Minister’s Scholarship alumni

    We are planning our first ever online connector event for Prime Minister’s Scholarship alumni in November 2021.

    Building on the momentum of the recent Prime Minister’s Scholarship impact survey, the event will be run by alumni, for alumni and will focus on fostering connections within the alumni community as a basis for further activity. More details to be announced in the next E-News update so watch this space.

    Prime Minister’s Scholarship Programme

    The team has made the best use of the COVID-19 travel restrictions and lockdowns to undertake a Prime Minister’s scholarships improvement programme to increase access to the scholarship and streamline processes, ready for when travel is possible.

    Festival for the Future

    We attended the Festival for the Future from 31 July-2 August and were overwhelmed by the number of participants who were willing to take part in our survey on Global Citizenship.  The analysis of responses is going a long way to helping ENZ commence on developing a framework and set of definitions on global citizenship.

    We are currently working with Inspiring Stories to plan ENZ’s involvement in Festival for the Future 2022, so keep an eye out for further information.

    Global citizenship is a key focus for ENZ, as ‘Global Citizens’ is one of three goals in The New Zealand Government’s International Education Strategy 2018 – 2030 (NZIES). Ultimately, we are working towards a future where:

    • All students gain the knowledge, skills and capabilities they need to live, work and learn globally
    • International education provides stronger global connections, research links and partnerships for New Zealand
    • New Zealanders understand and embrace the benefits of international education

    We will make sure to keep you updated of the work in this space.

  • Haere ra Afiqah, Haere mai Vikram

    We spoke recently with the former NZISA National President for 2021, Afiqah Ramizi, and with the National President for 2022, Vikram Selvaraj. 

    Afiqah Ramizi, NZISA National President 2021

    Afiqah has been in New Zealand since 2015, when she left Malaysia to undertake tertiary study here.  After completing a foundation course at ACG (now known as UP International College), Afiqah started on a six-year medical degree at the University of Auckland (UoA) and is now in her final year.   

    Afiqah’s advocacy work started during her time at ACG, when she was selected to represent the college under an International Student Ambassador programme, run by the New Zealand Police in Auckland. The main focus was to support engagement with the student community, and lift students’ understanding about how to keep themselves safe in a foreign country and what support is available.  

    At university, Afiqah joined the Malaysian students’ association and became Vice President.  In 2019 and again in 2020, she was elected as the International Students Officer for the UoA Students Association.  During these years, she became involved with NZISA through their multiple lobbying efforts and community engagement. Afiqah was elected NZISA’s Vice President in 2020, before being elected National President in 2021.   

    Looking back on her experience at NZISA, Afiqah says she is proud to have been involved in making sure that the voices of international students were heard as New Zealand responded to COVID-19, amongst many other achievements of NZISA since 2017. 

    “Last year we were successful in lobbying for temporary changes to international students’ maximum working hours, so they could work more during alert levels 3 and 4,” Afiqah says. “This was really important for students at a time when their studies were disrupted, and some students were facing financial hardship. This temporary increase was also appreciated by local employers, as they were needing more people able to work full-time, to keep their businesses running.”  

    In her role as National President, Afiqah was involved in supporting the groups of international students coming back to New Zealand while the border was closed. Her team’s continuous advocacy to government bodies saw more international student cohort border exceptions announced, which meant more international students were able to return and resume life in New Zealand. 

    “Staying in managed isolation and quarantine was a big extra cost for these students, and we know many hesitated to return because of that.  By talking with the institutions involved and advocating for subsidies, we were able to encourage them to cover part of the costs for their returning students. This was a win-win for both the universities and the students.” 

    Supporting students over the holidays was another key focus for NZISA during the past two summers, primarily to help onshore students who couldn’t reconnect with their families while borders were closed.  

    “We worked with ENZ and our regional networks to encourage summer internships, to remain connected in the international community and to indulge in the real Kiwi summer,” Afiqah said. 

    Afiqah herself spent the last summer at the coalface of the COVID-19 response work, drawing on her medical knowledge to support public health. She was initially working to find the source of COVID-19 when contact tracing was a key focus, and through the Omicron surge, she has learned other public health skills as the nature of her work changed from eliminating to managing COVID-19.    

    Now it’s time for her to pass on the baton to the 2022 President, and an opportunity to focus on her final year of medical school! 

     

    Vikram Selvaraj, NZISA National President 2022

    Now in the final semester of a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree at University of Canterbury, Vikram came to New Zealand in 2018 from Singapore with his partner and began studying here the following year.  

    “The Bachelor of Criminal Justice was a new degree, and I realised it was exactly what I wanted to study,” Vikram says. “It combines law with a range of other subjects, all related to criminal justice.” 

    Vikram is the eldest of three siblings and the sole breadwinner for his family, having lost both parents. His two siblings are still living in Singapore, and Vikram has continued to run a hairdressing salon there during his years in NZ. It’s more than three years since Vikram last saw his family in Singapore, but he isn’t planning a trip home any time soon, because of the risk that border settings might change again.  

    Vikram brings a range of relevant experience to his new role as NZISA National President.  At University of Canterbury (UC), he was a UniLife Leader, the first to be in charge of mature students, both domestic and international.  It was his role to support them, provide pastoral care and a voice on the issues they were facing.  His work was recognised with a Blues Award from UC Students Association in 2021, for Outstanding Achievement in Community Engagement.  

    Vikram is excited about his new role as NZISA National President.  He was elected in December and took up the role in late January, along with an all-new executive team of eight students.   

    “We’re planning a number of projects for the year ahead,” Vikram says. 

    UC joined NZISA last year and continuing to increase membership will be one of the priorities for Vikram and his team this year.   

    “We also have ideas for a range of projects for students that different members of the team will lead during the year.  This includes working with NZ Police to help students understand the risks of scams and online gambling; supporting students with resources to combat racism and discrimination; and empowering women.” 

    Vikram says it’s his belief that he can do something that has brought him to where he is today.  He’s very conscious of the challenges faced by many international students, for example when their financial situation changes, and they find it hard to get the support they need.  

    “Kiwi students aren’t always aware that international students are paying a premium price for their studies,” he says.   

    “Sometimes students feel homesick, or experience racism – whatever the particular challenge, it’s important for them to know that someone is listening to them.” 

    Fun fact about Vikram:  Vikram has a Japanese Spritz dog called Tiger that he brought with him to New Zealand.

    Sahinde Pala, ENZ’s Director Student Experience & Global Citizens, says ENZ sets great store by our relationship with NZISA. 

    “We have really valued the contribution Afiqah has made during her years with NZISA, and we look forward to working closely with Vikram and his team over the coming year,” Sahinde says.

  • Criteria – Paearu

    Eligibility

    New Zealand universities and Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology are eligible to apply. 

    Target Groups

    Graduates, doctoral candidates, doctorate holders, professors and lecturers. 

    Definition of “early-career researcher”: 

    • A PhD student enrolled at a participating New Zealand university. 
    • A researcher who has been awarded a Research Master’s or PhD within five years from the date of the application. 
    • A researcher who received his or her award more than five years before the date of the application but who, due to career interruptions such as family commitments, has had less than the equivalent of five cumulative years of research experience. 

    Eligible Subject Areas and Disciplines

    The programme is open to all disciplines.  

    Funding

    Education New Zealand will support participating New Zealand institutions by funding travel and living expenses for research trips to Germany. ENZ will match the contribution of New Zealand institutions to a maximum of NZ$12,500 per year per project. Projects are typically funded for up to two years.

    PPP funding covers the following project-related expenses: 
    • Travel costs of the sponsored participants 
    • Living costs of the sponsored participants 

    Experienced researchers can stay in Germany for up to 30 days per year. Graduates can stay for up to 50 days per year.

What's in it for me?