12 February 2020 at 9:00 am

Japan and New Zealand build on bilateral education ties with new Memorandum of Understanding

Signed by Lisa Futschek, General Manager International, Education New Zealand and Joji Koide, Mayor of Ichihara City of Chiba Prefecture in early February, this MOU will open up doors for schools and tertiary institutions in both nations to establish new international study programmes.

(L-R): Kenji Akiba, Tomo Miyazaki, Joji Koide, Lisa Futschek, Misa Kitaoka, Marina Wilmerstadt, Yoshitaka Kiriya.

It comes off the back of the Japanese Government’s continued work on their internationalisation policy, where international education plays a key role. It’s especially crucial for Ichihara this year, as the city gears up to act as one of 15 host towns for New Zealand (and other nations) during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

New Zealand is uniquely positioned to assist Japan with its internationalisation efforts, especially with English language learning.

In November 2018, ENZ Senior Market Manager – Japan, Misa Kitaoka, called on Mayor Koide to discuss the opportunity for a new outbound programme to New Zealand. The initiative – translated as ‘Youth Overseas Study Abroad Assistance Project’ – is currently underway as a legacy project. After the Tokyo Olympics and Paralymics, the city is planning to send school students from Ichihara City to New Zealand starting 2021.

In conjunction with the new outbound study programme to New Zealand, Ichihara City is keen to expand its partnership with New Zealand by signing an agreement with ENZ for wider cooperation to promote education exchange between the two countries.

“It’s exciting to see New Zealand and Japan not only solidify the education relationship we already have, but open it up to different kinds of collaboration down the line,” ENZ General Manager – International, Lisa Futschek, says.

“That’s where we get innovative education programmes developed for our students, like the popular English PLUS and Game On English initiatives.”

As New Zealand's third largest student source country, Japan remains an important focus market for both ENZ and New Zealand institutions.

As an underpinning to our student attraction objectives, our relationship is deepened through sister-city relationships, and outbound mobility initiatives such as the Prime Minister's Scholarships for Asia, and New Zealanders taking part in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) programme.

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