15 August 2023 at 10:00 am

Exploring a vision for the ‘Future of International Education’ in Aotearoa

Earlier this month, Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao welcomed Professor Martin Bean and his business partner Helen Souness to facilitate a series of thought-provoking workshops, seminars and meetings discussing the ‘Future of International Education’.  

Prof Bean 1

It was an action-packed week in Wellington for Emeritus Professor Bean and his business partner Helen Souness. They were invited to Wellington by Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) to facilitate discussions on what the future may look like for Aotearoa New Zealand’s international education sector

Professor Bean is former Vice Chancellor of The Open University in the United Kingdom and RMIT University in Australia, and is now CEO of the Bean Centre. Along with his business partner Helen Souness, former CEO of RMIT Online, they partner with education experts, education providers and technology companies to shape an education future that works for the rapidly evolving needs of learners, and the evolving landscape of work they will eventually be part of.  

On Tuesday 1 August, ENZ hosted a cross-section of representatives from our international education partners in government, industry and tertiary education institutions at a full-day workshop. The aim of the workshop was to bring together our sector and collectively explore a vision for the future of international education in Aotearoa New Zealand. This work is a key part of Focus Area 2 of the New Zealand International Education Strategy 2022-2030 (NZIES) and how we can diversify our educational products and services and modes of delivery to create a more sustainable and resilient future. 

ENZ’s Chief Executive Grant McPherson opened the event and said that it was a privilege to host experts in the field of international education and have them share their knowledge and experience on what is disrupting the world of tertiary and international education globally and what other countries are doing in the face of these challenges. 

''I would like to thank everyone that came along with such energy and great ideas. It was a fantastic day and the collaboration between government, industry, and the education sector served to generate some inspiring ideas on how, as a country, we can innovate and differentiate our international education sector to remain competitive on the world stage.  

''This is especially important work given the challenges that the international education sector is facing not just in Aotearoa but also around the globe. Professor Bean and Helen Souness really inspired us to think about the future of our sector from the point of view those around us including learners, communities, and industry, in the face of these challenges’’, said Grant. 

Professor Martin Bean and Helen Souness had this to say about the 1 August workshop.

Professor Bean also saidI was delighted to participate in a week of deep thinking as we collectively imagined a brighter future for New Zealand’s international education sector. 

“It’s clear that the world of work and tertiary education is changing rapidly and it’s great to see that colleagues in New Zealand are determined to meet the challenges and build a strategy to thrive in turbulent times”. 

Another highlight of the day included a presentation from social innovators Hinepounamu Apanui-Barr and Briana Te Haara-Barr on the work that Tokona te Raki: Māori Futures Collective is doing in finding indigenous solutions to global challenges. Their case study and discussion provided valuable input to the day as we then discussed Aotearoa’s unique value proposition. 

ENZ’s Sector Engagement General Manager Wendy Kerr, whose team is leading the work involved with Focus Area 2 of the NZIES, said that in the days following the workshop, the ENZ innovation team met with our international education agency partners to reflect on the discussions and wonderful ideas that were brought to the table during the day’s workshop. 

“It’s not often we get a chance to shape the future and this week has proved a valuable foundation for many in our sector to contribute to the course of the future of international education for Aotearoa. And what an exciting privilege that is. 

She added, ''Now the hard work really begins, and ENZ will be leading the development of a green paper that will be the basis for consultation with our international education partners including government, education providers, industry, iwi, the wider community, and of course, our learners. Watch this space for the exciting developments to come!’’ 


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