28 March 2018 at 9:00 am
Market insights from Japanese media
Senior Japanese journalists took part in ENZ’s media familiarisation visit to New Zealand in March and gave insights into what Japanese people are looking for in education.
The journalists represented a range of Japanese news media with audiences of various interests, ages and social groups:
- Sachiko Habu, Editor-in-Chief of Nikkei DUAL, a digital magazine for working parents
- Ryo Fujii, Deputy Editor of CNET Japan, focused on technology and innovation news
- Yuko Okumura, a freelance journalist for Glolea!, promoting study abroad for Japanese students.
The journalists visited secondary schools, English language schools, early childhood education (ECE) providers and government agencies involved in technology-focused start-ups.
Misa Kitaoka, ENZ’s Senior Market Development Manager – Japan, said New Zealand’s approach to education was considered very forward-thinking in Japan.
“They realised that education in New Zealand is not about only acquiring knowledge, which is still the case in Japan, but about what one can do with the knowledge in dealing with the uncertainties that come with the accelerated globalisation and digitisation in society.”
New Zealand’s world-first education ranking for instilling future skills resonated with the journalists, as did the Government’s push to enable innovation in the private sector, its tertiary qualifications framework for ITPs, and unique ECE curriculum.
Government-led initiatives such as CreativeHQ were very attractive to the journalists as well.
“In Japan, it’s usually the private sector that drives innovation so seeing a government-led initiative in New Zealand really made an impression,” said Misa.
The journalists were interested that some New Zealand schools offered the International Baccalaureate (IB), which could be a pathway to tertiary study options in Japan, New Zealand, US and the UK.
“IB is a hot topic in Japan at the moment, with the Japanese government promoting international education and introducing international curricula such as the IB diploma to Japanese schools,” said Misa.
The topic of Japanese parents bringing their pre-school children to an English-speaking country like New Zealand for a short-term immersion – the ‘barefeet study abroad’ experience, as one journalist put it – was also of interest. The journalists appreciated the “unique learning environment” offered by the New Zealand ECEs they visited.
“They were impressed to see children immersed in nature while learning how to be independent and resilient,” said Misa.
New Zealand’s high quality of life, healthy work-life balance and the flexibility of “work from home” also made a good impression.