14 December 2020 at 9:00 am

Innovative ENZ universities’ partnership a key part of sector’s COVID-19 recovery and rebuild

The Pathways partnership is the largest global collaboration for New Zealand’s university sector to date.

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ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson and Universities New Zealand Chief Executive Chris Whelan.

Education New Zealand and New Zealand’s eight universities have announced a new partnership with UK-based qualifications provider the University Consortium (NCUK) that will allow students from more than 30 countries to begin a New Zealand university qualification without leaving home.

The partnership will play an important role in implementing the Government’s COVID-19 Strategic Recovery Plan for International Education.

ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson said the Pathway initiative is key to the shift in New Zealand’s international education approach that will make the sector more resilient over the next few years.

“It is a tangible demonstration of New Zealand providing flexible and diverse education options for students that will enhance sector’s resilience and sustainability in the face of global change,” Grant said.

This agreement is part of a broader ENZ Global New Zealand Education Pathways initiativethrough which ENZ is extending its activities to enable students to connect with blended, online, digital and full qualification study options. 

In support of this initiative, ENZ has extended its Study in New Zealand website to enable all New Zealand quality-assured education providers to add global delivery sites over time, where students undertake learning for a qualification offshore.

The pathways initiative enables international students to begin study in their home countries towards Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at any of New Zealand’s eight universities. It leverages NCUK’s quality-assured global network of 81 recognised Study Centres.

Students commencing the pathway in 2021 could start their study either online or in New Zealand, in 2022 or 2023, once they complete one of three relevant NCUK pathway qualifications – a one-year international foundation year programme to enter an undergraduate degree in New Zealand; or a one-year international year one programme, equivalent to one year’s study towards a business or engineering Bachelor’s degree; or a pre-Master’s programme towards a Master’s degree in New Zealand. 

All New Zealand universities are supporting this latest partnership, committing at least $300,000 per annum across the sector in dedicated NCUK scholarships. Universities New Zealand has recognised the NCUK Foundation Year programme as being equivalent to University Entrance.

Universities New Zealand Chief Executive Chris Whelan said New Zealand’s universities were committed to developing innovative solutions that connect New Zealand to students globally.

“The partnership will give students flexibility to work towards New Zealand university undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications while borders are closed.

“International education is a critical component of building the quality of our education offering – specifically in areas such as research and development. The ‘team New Zealand’ approach taken by our universities will enable us to better attract students who are sought after by universities all over the world,” Whelan said.

ENZ General Manager – Partnerships and Marketing, Paul Irwin, said the initiative also has strong potential to be extended across the wider New Zealand education sector.

“This has great potential to be developed for the wider New Zealand education sector with diverse study options such as new blended, online, digital and full qualifications.”

NCUK Study Centres will start promoting pathway qualifications to study at New Zealand universities from December for the next cohort intake in March 2021. 

The offshore pathways initiative has involved nearly all ENZ’s teams - both onshore and offshore – including International, Industry, Marketing (Digital and Brand) and Communications.

The Pathways partnership will help develop a pipeline of international students to study in New Zealand when the time is right. The partnership is part of the Government’s Recovery Plan for international education, which invests $10 million over three years towards innovative products and modes of education delivery that will enable the international education sector to not only recover from the shock of COVID-19, but transform to a more diversified, sustainable future state.

Further information on the New Zealand Global Education Pathways initiative can be found at http://studyinnewzealand.govt.nz/global-pathways.

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