19 October 2023 at 10:00 am

Highlights from Education Fairs and events in Japan and Viet Nam

Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao recently organised a series of education events in Japan and Viet Nam. The events were well-attended and there was a notable increase in interest from prospective students looking to study with New Zealand long-term. 

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In early October, ENZ welcomed 844 visitors to engage with 40 New Zealand education providers representing the school, vocational, English language and university sectors at the first New Zealand student fair in Japan since 2019.  

Teresa Robertson, International Director from King’s High School with Eriko Ishiguro, an interpreter.

The fair at Roppongi Academy Hills in Tokyo on 1 October had a programme of events that highlighted the strong connections between our two countries. Over the following two days, 49 and 45 of the visiting New Zealand education providers attended the ENZ Agent Seminars in Tokyo and Osaka respectively. Both seminars saw a record number of local agents and education providers, with 181 present in Tokyo and 77 in Osaka. 

His Excellency Hamish Cooper, New Zealand Ambassador to Japan with the New Zealand contingent. The New Zealand education providers sang two waiata to support the Ambassador’s speech. A recording of ENZ’s waiata ‘Manapou ki te Ao’ was played and explained in Japanese to convey the waiatas’ meaning and lyrics.

Misa Kitaoka, ENZ’s Director of Education - Japan said that these events proved a great opportunity for the institutions to network with local school representatives, education and travel experts and gain valuable insights into the Japanese market. She also said that there was an evident increase in interest in long-term study in New Zealand both at the school and tertiary levels, compared with pre-Covid.  

"This new trend is testament to the well-established presence New Zealand now has as a study destination in Japan. It can also be attributed to the effects of the Japanese government’s internationalisation policy in the education sector. With over 200 International Baccalaureate schools in Japan, more students are bilingual and eligible for direct entry to New Zealand universities. 

There are also over 500 Japanese universities now adopting sogo gata senbatsu(comprehensive admissions) that provide a holistic assessment of the applicants including their English language skills and overseas experience. This means that more students are choosing to complete secondary school education in New Zealand to apply to Japanese universities,said Misa. 

The education events along with pre-departure briefings where Japanese market insights were shared and the welcome reception upon arrival with key Japanese education stakeholders and partners were all well-received by the education providers in attendance.  

Kerrie Hodgson, Internationalisation Business Partner, Te Pūkenga New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology said it was clear that great effort was put into promoting the events and New Zealand education. “The numbers were high, and I felt that enquiries were more in depth than previous years, and beyond English Language study,” said Kerrie. 

Renee Millner, International Director for Western Heights School in Rotorua added that the market insights provided ahead of their arrival were a great introduction to significant changes within the Japanese market 

Viet Nam 

Following the action-packed week in Japan, the focus shifted to Viet Nam where the ENZ teams held several New Zealand education events in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi. 

NZ institutions had one-to-one meetings with Vietnamese agents at two ENZ Agent Seminars in Viet Nam.

The series of events began with 19 NZ Masterclasses delivered over two weekends. Over 800 students registered for these online classes, in which New Zealand academics delivered a 40-minute lesson. This was followed by recruitment representatives introducing the entry requirements, scholarship opportunities and benefits of studying in New Zealand. Following the masterclasses, representatives of all eight New Zealand universities visited several schools in Ho Chi Minh City and Ha Noi, presenting to students and their families at information sessions and in some cases, taking part in mini-fairs 

Ho Chi Minh City was then host to two flagship ENZ events; the Agent Seminar and Counsellors Meet-up and following this, the NZ Education Day Fair. There was significant interest in both events with 50 Vietnamese agents meeting with 29 New Zealand institutions while 25 Viet Nam schools’ counsellors met with all New Zealand universities and Te Pūkenga. The New Zealand Education Fair saw over 500 visitors through the event with 385 leads generated. 

Ha Noi followed suit with the Agent Seminar and Counsellors Meet-up attracting 40 Vietnamese agents meeting with 27 New Zealand institutions while eight Viet Nam school counsellors met with all New Zealand universities and Te Pūkenga. The events finished with a second popular Education Fair with visitors estimated at about 400 people resulting in 258 student leads. 

Van Banh, ENZ's Market Manager for Viet Nam said that this year's education events had a mix of the traditional with a more interactive, modern, and sustainable approach which resonated well with attendees. 

"Our team wanted to make these events as fun and interactive as possible to show what a New Zealand education is all about. In addition to the one-to-one opportunities for students and parents to talk to the New Zealand institutions, there were workshops with the participation of key opinion leaders, and well-known English IELTS trainers. There were also activities run by our partners such as English skills testing and minigames about New Zealand.  

We also took a more sustainable and innovative approach to our events to support the messaging that we communicate to students about New Zealand being a country that cares about sustainability and the environment, with an eye to the future through innovation. We replaced traditional printed backdrops with digital ones shown on TV screens for each booth, significantly reducing our waste and energy usage in manufacturing production. Our main stage also had a set of three interactive and eye-catching LED screens.  

ENZ’s Regional Director for Asia, Ben Burrowes, attended both events and said, “on behalf of the ENZ teams in Viet Nam and Japan, I would like to extend a huge thank you to the New Zealand education providers who attended our events this year.  

As we all know, these face-to-face connections are extremely valuable as we continue to rebuild New Zealand’s education brand in such an important region for our sector. We look forward to hosting you again soon." 

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