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  • 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.


  • 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

  • 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 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.

  • Registrations now open for 2016 IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad

    Generation Study Abroad SummitThe U.S. welcome mat is out.

    The Institute of International Education (IIE) welcomes participation from New Zealand at the 2016 IIE Summit on Generation Study Abroad.

    The summit will take place from October 23-25, 2016 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC. The summit will bring education, government and business leaders together for discussions on international experience as a key part of a 21st century education and how to make study abroad opportunities available to all.

    It is more important than ever that U.S. students graduate with the international, intercultural, and language skills that they will need to help solve today’s global challenges. 

    The 2016 IIE Summit is part of IIE’s Generation Study Abroad®, a five year initiative to double the number of U.S. students studying abroad by the end of the decade. 

    Generation Study Abroad seeks to increase and diversify participation by bringing higher education institutions, employers, governments, teachers, associations and others to build on current best practices. They are also looking at new ways to extend study abroad opportunities and resources to tens of thousands of college students whose needs are not currently served by existing study abroad programmes.

    More than 600 participants from across the US and from around the world are expected to attend the Summit. 

  • Putting New Zealand in agents’ hearts and on their maps

    Education New Zealand (ENZ) recently organised a series of agent familiarisation tours.

    Four groups were immersed in New Zealand’s learning, living and working opportunities for international students.

    Agents from Brazil, Colombia, South Korea and Saudi Arabia were treated to tours of New Zealand’s special places – from regional centres to our bigger cities.

    ENZ’s regional and international teams organised the programmes and toured with the agents over May and June. They were shown the full spectrum of the sector, and were also given updates and presentations from government agencies like Immigration New Zealand and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA.

    “The agents enjoyed and appreciated the chance to learn about education in New Zealand, meet current international students and understand the distinctive offerings for students across all of New Zealand,” said Greg Scott, ENZ Regional Programme Manager.

    The tour included interactive activities, including an emphasis on education pathways, applied learning and creative technologies, and special open-invitation networking opportunities, like the Networking Starts at Home event

    The agents visited   Taranaki, Nelson, Canterbury, Waiuku, Hamilton, Dunedin, Queenstown and Napier.

    Sara Gamez and Ana Karina Fajardo outside the AUT marae 3


    “As our regional centres become better known international education destinations, the agent familiarisation tours demonstrated how each regional centre has a unique story and value proposition that can appeal to different student interests,” says Greg Scott. 

    The potential benefit to increasing the profile of New Zealand education amongst all these markets is immense.

     “The feedback from the participating agents was extremely positive and heartfelt,” says Sarah Gauthier, ENZ Regional Project Manager.

    “We ensured the agents enjoyed themselves and their time in New Zealand. They enjoyed tourist activities, speaking to international students and their homestay families and gaining a deeper understanding overall of the value of a New Zealand education.” 

    “We are seeing lots of photos of New Zealand on the agents’ social media feeds and their agencies’ websites,” says Jo Keane, ENZ Regional Project Manager.

     “We’d like to thank all the people, organisations and regional groups that supported these familiarisations,” says Sarah Gauthier. 

    “It was a true Team New Zealand effort. We appreciated the time everyone took to host us, meet the agents, organise tours and ensure that the students were available to speak to the agents in their own language. 

    “There’s nothing like hearing why New Zealand is such a great place to be a student than from real international students.  By speaking about their study, lifestyle and work opportunities, the tours were really brought to life,” she says.   

    Korean Agents enjoy the Nelson Sunshine


  • Putting us in their hearts and on their maps

    Some 21 agents from Brazil, Colombia, South Korea and Saudi Arabia were treated to tours of New Zealand’s special places. 

    ENZ's regional and international teams organised the programmes and toured with the agents over May and June.

    “The agents really enjoyed and appreciated the chance to learn about education in New Zealand, meet current international students and understand the distinctive regional offerings for students across all of New Zealand,” said Greg Scott, ENZ Regional Programme Manager.

    The tours included stops in Taranaki, Nelson, Canterbury, Waiuku, Hamilton, Dunedin, Queenstown, Napier, Wellington and Auckland.

    Each tour contained lots of interactive activities and emphasised education pathways and applied learning and creative technologies.

    Brazilian agent and student at school in Dunedin 2

    The potential benefit to raising the profile of a New Zealand education amongst all these markets is immense.

    “The Korean agents indicated that their understanding has greatly increased of everything New Zealand has to offer,” said Tania Woodcock, International Market Manager, China, Korea and Japan.

    “So far, the feedback from the participating agents has been extremely positive and genuine,” said Sarah Gauthier, Regional Project Manager. 

    “We ensured the agents enjoyed themselves and their time in New Zealand – so that they could speak authentically to prospective international students and their families about the value of a New Zealand education.” 

    ENZ was seeing lots of photos of New Zealand on the agents’ social media feeds and their agencies’ websites.

    “This type of engagement with New Zealand post-famil is great,” said Sahinde Pala, Regional Project Manager. “It shows the impact we made on the agents, and their commitment to promoting New Zealand education.”

    Korean Agents enjoy the Nelson Sunshine 2

    “We’d like to thank all the people, organisations and regional groups who supported these famils,” said Sarah. 

    “It was a true Team New Zealand effort. We appreciated the time everyone took to host us, meet with the agents, organise tours and ensure that relevant international students were available to speak to the agents in their own language. 

    “There’s nothing like hearing why New Zealand is such a great place to be a student than from real international students.  By speaking about their study, lifestyle and work opportunities, the tours were really brought to life.” 

    For more information contact Sarah Gauthier, Regional Project Manager,

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