14 September 2023 at 10:30 am

From the CE: The need to connect remains critical

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Kia ora tatou,

This month I want to add some colour, and give credit, to the work New Zealand institutions and the Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) team have been undertaking offshore in the continuing drive to raise awareness of NZ education options and opportunities.

I have mentioned before how much of this activity is often ‘unseen’ from New Zealand, and yet it is pivotal to our marketing and outreach to potential students, their parents, agents, institutional and government partners. The principle focus of this effort is to engage with students, build awareness, and drive interest and enrolment in New Zealand education providers. But that is not all. These activities and events, play an important role of ensuring the sector and its institutions remain connected to key international counterparts and government agencies, lifting the profile of New Zealand as a destination for international education while building long term resilience for the sector.

Here is a quick update on some of this International activity. Images of some of these interactions are shared in our international photo gallery update here.

China:   Massey University and ENZ organised a Massey University friends and alumni reception in the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing on 27 August. About 50 participants attended the event including alumni and partners of Massey University. The event was particularly timely following China being the Country of Honour at NZIEC Ki Tua earlier in the month and highlights the important linkages between government to government and institutional relationships in key markets.  

India:    ENZ was a gold sponsor of the IC3 Institute annual conference, held in Hyderabad on 23 - 24 August. ENZ was joined at the event by representatives of seven New Zealand universities and saw strong interest among counsellors in New Zealand as a study destination. More than 2,000 delegates attended the two-day event.

Brazil; Colombia - Latin America:  Following on from strong interest shown in New Zealand at the first in person expo at the Australian Centre Expo in Sāo Paulo in August, ENZ’s Director of Engagement Latin America, Javiera Visedo, took the opportunity to reconnect with providers and stakeholders across New Zealand after attending NZIEC Ki Tua. In Auckland, she delivered a market insights session to local ELS and PTE sector representatives highlighting opportunities for growth.

Malaysia: The first instalment of the Indigenous People Talk series took place on 13 August with Dr Hazel Abraham from AUT joining Malaysian academics to discuss the importance of education and technology to empower indigenous communities in both countries.

Indonesia: Universities New Zealand signed an arrangement with LPDP (the Indonesian Endowment Fund for Education) on 2 August in Jakarta. The Arrangement was signed by Prof Neil Quigley, University of Waikato Vice Chancellor and Chair of the UNZ International Committee, and Andin Hadiyanto, President director of LPDP. New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia, HE Kevin Burnett joined representatives of all eight New Zealand universities to witness the ceremony.

South Korea: In three short days from 31 August to 2 September, the ENZ team organised an Agent seminar, a New Zealand Education night reception and the New Zealand Education Fair. All were well attended and interest from attendees was high.

Thailand: Similarly, in a compressed week from 25 - 30 August, the ENZ Thai Team coordinated Agent seminars, the New Zealand Education Fair in Bangkok, and follow-up school visits and agent fairs in the Thai provinces of Chiang Mai, Phuket and Chonburi.

Vietnam: In the lead up to the New Zealand Education Fairs which will take place in October, the ENZ Vietnam team participated in the GSE Education Fair by hosting a ‘Study with New Zealand’ session on 9 September.

If you are interested in learning more about how your school or institution can participate in building connections with international students, contact our international team through this link.

Within New Zealand, we were delighted to welcome the first cohort of students from Ichihara City to undertake a study tour at Waimea College in Nelson from 6 - 20 August. Reinforcing the importance of the study trip, ENZ’s Lisa Futschek joined the Mayor of Ichihara in Wellington to discuss further strengthening of the Education Cooperation Arrangement with Ichihara City that was originally signed in 2020.

Our sector engagement team continued its briefings of key sub-sector peak bodies to outline the ENZ Annual Plan and how it impacts their sector. This included briefings for the SEIBA Board, QTI and ITENZ, and English New Zealand. This followed briefings early in August with international directors of New Zealand universities and Te Pūkenga. Feedback from the bodies was appreciative of the explanation and sharing of the plan, with questions raised at the briefings a key part of the transparent and helpful feedback we received.

The urgency for the international education sector to address challenges and opportunities of the future continued on from the NZIEC Ki Tua conference in mid-August  through to the recent ITENZ conference held in Christchurch on 12 and 13 September.  The PTE sector has faced some of the most challenging conditions in recent times, but the determination of those attending to identify and take opportunities to regain their previous strength was impressive and bodes well for the sector’s path to a brighter future.

On the marketing front, visits to the Study with New Zealand (SWNZ) website continued to perform well with the total number of active sessions lifting nine percent to 125,203 during August. Of particular interest was the strong interest from Thailand which overtook India in August as the main source of interest with a spike in activity before and during the Education Fair in Bangkok. As we move through the year, other markets are also expected to show lifts in activity associated with local market fairs and promotion.

This week also saw ENZ host the first Tertiary Education Institution Manaaki Scholarship workshop in Auckland since ENZ took over the management of the scholarships programme last November. The workshop was attended by all eight universities and Te Pūkenga, with support and involvement from MFAT, Manaaki alumni and Skills Consulting Group. The scholarships not only benefit the students, but also the sector who gain access to many international students through this unique programme.

As I look back on this month’s review it is obvious to me that to continue the rebuild of the international education sector for New Zealand the need to connect remains a critical part of the recovery. Whether it is happening in other countries or here in New Zealand, it is important to remember we are a ‘people’ business – we need to get out there and connect. Safe connecting.

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata! 

What is the most important thing in the world?  

It is people! It is people! It is people! 

Ngā mihi,


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