13 February 2023 at 10:30 am

From the CE: 2023 is off to a flying start

Kia ora tātou, Ngā mihi o te tau hou – Greetings for the new year and welcome to 2023. One month in and the Year of the Rabbit is up and running. 

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Following the appointment of Chris Hipkins to Prime Minister, last week we welcomed our new Minister of Education, Jan Tinetti. Minister Tinetti knows education well. She has over 20 years as a primary school principal, in four schools across Southland and Tauranga. She also holds a Diploma in Teaching (Primary), a Bachelor of Education and Master’s in Education with First Class Honours, from the University of Canterbury.  

Both appointments are good news for international education. We have both a Prime Minister with rich knowledge and appreciation for the many benefits that international education brings working alongside a Minister of Education who has significant education experience. 

The first month of the year saw significant announcements in China, an important partner country. The first was the change to the Zero-COVID policy, followed shortly after with the decision by the Chinese qualification recognition agency to revert to pre-COVID settings for online qualifications. Chinese students were already returning to study in New Zealand and these announcements will encourage this further.   

In response to these changes in China our team collaborated with Tourism New Zealand to drive awareness of New Zealand as a short-term study destination. Late last year we put the New Zealand education brand back on the map in Colombia with an important event in Bogota. I am also excited to see the relaunch of the New Zealand Schools Scholarships – our flagship initiative for Viet Nam.  

The first month of the year also saw our first iwi-led Prime Minister’s Scholarship for Asia recipients (Te Piriru Marae, Ngāti Maniapoto) travelling to Hokkaido for six weeks, forging connections with the indigenous Ainu people of Japan. There will be more on this in next month’s ENews.  

While I’m on the subject of the Prime Minister’s Scholarships the most recent round of applications saw a significant and very pleasing increase in Māori participation to 22 percent up from five percent from 2016 to 2019. We are eager to continue this increase and will be partnering with iwi to raise it further in the March group application round. 

After the challenges of the past couple of years, a flying start was exactly what we needed and I am very pleased that is what we have.  

Waiho i te toipoto, kaua i te toiroa  

Let us keep close together, not wide apart. 

Ngā mihi nui, 

Grant McPherson  

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