26 October 2016
Education New Zealand has another successful year in Japan
In early October, ENZ Japan held a diverse event series featuring education fairs, seminars and an alumni event – drawing over 1,000 visitors.
The series began with a reception for the 30th anniversary of the Auckland-Fukuoka sister city relationship. Sir Bob Harvey from Auckland Council and Mr Soichiro Takashima, Mayor of Fukuoka City, were among the 120 guests who attended to celebrate the friendship and education exchange. The group also enjoyed a powerful haka performance by 20 students from Fukuoka’s Seiryo High School, who visited Auckland Grammar School in August this year for the Game On English Rugby programme.
While in Fukuoka, ENZ held an education fair with exhibitions from 30 New Zealand providers and organisations. The fair had more than 300 visitors – many of whom queued to speak to New Zealand representatives about their study options. ENZ’s Senior Market Development Manager – Japan, Misa Pitt, said the interest was not surprising, given the variety of New Zealand education programmes on show.
A second fair was also held in Tokyo, with a record number of over 600 visitors, followed by an education seminar with over 100 Japanese agents, schools and tertiary institutions.“While our competitors’ fairs tend to focus on one particular sector, we have an advantage by offering a wide range of innovative programmes from all sectors,” said Misa Pitt.
The interest in the seminar reflects an increase in engagement from Japanese institutions in international education – as well as the Japanese government’s internationalisation policy, intended to support their forthcoming sports hosting duties.
“With the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics coming up, more Japanese students are interested in programmes that combine English and professional training in sports, tourism and hospitality,” said Misa Pitt.
Misa also revealed that the debut involvement of the Schools International Education Business Association (SIEBA, the peak body for schools in the international education space) in Japan increased New Zealand’s credibility in market, particularly in relation to pastoral care.
“With the new Code of Practice introduced in July this year, I believe SIEBA will play a key role in connecting New Zealand secondary schools with Japanese agents and institutions.”
Japan’s event series concluded with an alumni reception in Tokyo, with special guests including New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, Stephen Payton, and Michael Leitch, a Christchurch native who, after studying in Japan, now plays for the Japanese national rugby team. Michael gave a moving speech on the similarities between New Zealand and Japanese culture, as well as the importance of overseas education in building character for young people.