Future Focus Programme

Overview

The Future Focus Programme (FFP) provides support to the international education industry at a time of great challenge. It provides $1.2 million of funding to help sectors develop new approaches to strategic challenges or opportunities, through grants to peak bodies of up to $200,000 per sector.

This funding supports peak bodies to develop an innovation plan with their sector, and to initiate projects to expedite change within their sector. Projects are to focus on the areas of product development, online delivery, new business models and the development of innovation capability.

Through this support, ENZ wishes to see sectors adopt new ways of working for the future to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 related developments or similar shock events.

This page includes detail on the programme as well as further information on peak body plans and projects.

Context and programme outline

Programme details

A focus on thinking new

Programme timeframes

Funding


Context and programme outline

The international education industry has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has highlighted the high degree of reliance that New Zealand’s industry has on inbound student recruitment and encourages rethinking of ‘business as usual’ approaches. ENZ wishes to provide support to peak bodies to help their sectors navigate an unprecedented time of strategic uncertainty.

Under the Future Focus Programme, ENZ will fund peak bodies up to $200,000 per sector within a two-step framework. The first step of the framework is to support peak bodies to develop an innovation plan for their sector. The second step will see the initiation of priority innovation projects and development of sector innovation capability. Projects will focus in the areas of product development, online delivery, new business models and the development of innovation capability.

This programme explicitly focuses on thinking new, rather than business as usual. In doing so, ENZ wishes to see sectors adopt new ways of working for the future to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 related developments. This is an opportunity for peak bodies to work with their sectors and ENZ to reimagine international education for the future.

Programme details

Rationale: The programme has been developed to provide support to peak bodies to help their sectors navigate an unprecedented time of strategic uncertainty.

Purpose: The programme aims to help peak bodies encourage and facilitate innovation and change within their sectors to adopt new ways of working for the future to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 related developments.

Mechanism: To help engender this change, peak bodies will be required to develop an innovation plan and initiate an innovation project or projects to implement for their sectors.

In developing the plan and projects, peak bodies will be expected to bring together ‘coalitions of the willing’ from among their sector in order to achieve change. 

Structure: The programme has been structured within a two-step framework. This framework is intended to deliver consistency in programme implementation while allowing for customisation to accommodate the needs and interests of each sector. ENZ will provide seed funding to peak bodies to enable this approach to be developed.

1. Development of sector innovation plans

The first programme step will encourage peak bodies to develop an innovation plan for their sector. This will see peak bodies work within their sectors to outline and confirm priorities for innovation, taking into account the realities of operating within a COVID-19 world. Peak bodies will be able to use the funding to increase their capacity to focus on this foundation work. 

The intention with these plans is explicitly on new approaches, rather than business as usual. We want to encourage peak bodies and their sectors to look at new business models and opportunities, rather than reframing business as usual under the guise of innovation.

ENZ will work in partnership with peak bodies to help guide and test thinking to ensure the plans are sufficiently innovative in nature to meet programme funding criteria and aims.

2Initiation of priority innovation projects

The sector innovation plans will identify a number of innovation projects which the peak body will lead the sector to implement. Peak bodies can direct funding toward initiating an agreed priority project or projects identified within that plan.

These innovation projects will aim to change the sector in one or more of the following areas which have the potential to be transformative:

  • New business models
  • Product development
  • Diversified delivery modes, including digital and offshore delivery
  • Development of business, management or technical capability to deliver on the above.

Projects will need to be mutually agreed with ENZ. Peak bodies can use the funding to employ personnel to initiate and implement the innovation projects identified in the innovation plans.

A focus on thinking new

The programme has been designed with a clear focus on thinking new. This is an opportunity for sectors to take stock of what COVID-19 means for how they can operate in the future, and to develop new behaviours, new products and new models in response.

What we want to see

The innovation plan and projects could:

  • Focus on innovative and new ways of working – not business as usual activities
  • Focus on changing business models, developing new products and/or diversifying delivery
  • Bring the sector along – either through a unified effort or through ‘coalitions of the willing’
  • Address strategic weaknesses of NZ’s industry – for example the high reliance on onshore international student recruitment
  • Develop business, management or technical capability to deliver on the above.

Out of scope

The programme is not available to support business as usual or reframed business as usual activities. Funding is not available for direct marketing to students or international market development.

Out of scope activities and projects include:

  • Existing or reframed business as usual activities
  • Projects that do not change sector behaviours, products or models
  • Direct marketing to students
  • International market development.

Programme timeframes 

Timeframe

Focal activity

Apr-Jun 2020

Programme development and initiation of contracts with peak bodies

Jul-Se 2020

Development of innovation plans and innovation projects

Oct-Dec 2020

Initiation of projects

Jan-Dec 2021

Project implementation

Funding

ENZ will provide seed funding up to $200,000 per sector. Contracts for Service have been agreed between ENZ and peak bodies.

The following sectors and peak bodies have been funded:

  • Schools: Schools International Education Business Association (SIEBA)
  • Universities: Universities New Zealand (UNZ)
  • Private training establishments: Quality Tertiary Institutes (QTI) and Independent Tertiary Education New Zealand (ITENZ)
  • Institutes of technology and polytechnics and New Zealand Institute of Skills and Training (NZIST): c/- Otago Polytechnic
  • English language: English New Zealand (English NZ)
  • Education products and services: Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) and EdTech NZ.

Peak bodies are to allocate funding to the development and implementation of the programme in line with the requirements outlined in the Contract for Service. Funding can only be allocated toward projects mutually agreed with ENZ. Funding can also only be utilised in line with eligible costs: 

Eligible costs

Ineligible costs

  • Costs related to delivering the programme
  •  Staffing, provided it is related to programme implementation (staffing resource funded through the programme is not to be directed to activities that are not a part of this programme)
  • Capital purchases, software or hardware essential for delivering the programme.
  • Business as usual activities
  • Costs unrelated to delivering the programme
  • Capital purchases, software or hardware that are not essential for delivering the programme
  • Costs related to direct marketing to students or market development
  • International travel.

 

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