7 June 2021 at 4:39 pm

From the CE: Coming together to offer a New Zealand Education online

This week I’m proud to announce the launch of a new initiative with FutureLearn, which will provide online courses from a range of New Zealand education providers on a shared platform to more than 15 million learners worldwide.

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Through this initiative, we’re bringing a New Zealand education to those who can’t be onshore due to COVID-19 restrictions. We’re also tapping into a wider audience of learners looking for online options, and developing a pipeline of learners seeking a pathway to study in New Zealand.

This initiative supports the Government’s Recovery Plan for our international education sector. Part 3 of the Plan led by Education New Zealand, Transforming to a more sustainable future state, has accelerated the diversification of products and services, one of three goals set out in the New Zealand International Education Strategy.

ENZ is supporting the international education sector through this initiative by facilitating engagement with a global audience online. Our partnership with FutureLearn lets us explore the value of promoting New Zealand content under a national online banner, as well as the benefits of partnering with third parties who have existing online audiences.

Some quick day-one statistics that I would like to share with you. We had close to 1,000 enrolments in a New Zealand-based course within the first 24 hours of launching. I expect to see very strong enrolment numbers once the promotional campaign funded by ENZ begins today (9 June).

FutureLearn host quality online courses that help learners build skills and upskill in areas of interest or need, from home – with potential to continue study in country (when border restrictions ease sufficiently) or continue online where available. The New Zealand collection collated for this initiative includes short courses from universities, English language and TESOL educators, vocational/institutes of technology and edtech educators including virtual reality developers and game designers. ENZ has funded the initial eight-week promotional campaign to celebrate the FutureLearn initiative’s launch.

We understand sustainability is becoming an increasingly important factor in a student’s study choices. Research commissioned by ENZ in May 2021 indicated that 79 percent of responders showed interest in studying sustainability and climate change as a subject.

Moreover, the QS Environmental Concerns Survey in 2019 found 79 percent of prospective international students were “somewhat more likely” or “much more likely” to choose a degree if the content helped them to learn about reducing their environmental impact.

A survey undertaken by Times Higher Education in April 2021 on students, sustainability and study choices showed that 80 percent believe in living their lives as sustainable citizens.

To cater for this, more than half of the courses included in this initiative are themed around sustainability. Courses like teaching and learning for sustainable education, English language for sustainability, and growing a sustainable workforce. It’s a great demonstration to the world that we take our cultural value of kaitiakitanga seriously.

Let me take this opportunity to also thank the providers who took the leap and joined ENZ on this new and exciting journey.

If you’re worried about missing this opportunity, it’s not too late to be part of the action. Get in touch with Project Manager Tim Brown [tim.brown@enz.govt.nz] for more information on how you can be part of this 12-month initiative, and any future initiatives that spring from this.

And if you’re keen to make the most of the New Zealand education offerings on FutureLearn, visit the following link: futurelearn.com/courses/collections/study-new-zealand

Ngā mihi,

Grant McPherson
Chief Executive Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao 

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