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  • PM’s Scholarships for Asia announced

    The Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia cover overseas study, research or internships ranging from six week to two years at undergraduate or postgraduate level at top Asian institutions.

    At an event to mark the programme’s first year, Prime Minister John Key and Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce congratulated recipients.

    Successful recipients include a student from Otago University, who will study chemistry and pharmacology at the National University of Singapore, and a group from the New Zealand Institute of Fashion Technology who will deepen their design and manufacturing knowledge working on a collaborative project with Indian students at a partner institution in Tamil Nadu.

    The inaugural awards were made in December 2013, with many recipients still completing their studies throughout Asia. This next round of scholarships will enable 103 people to study overseas.

    Peter Bull, Education New Zealand’s General Manager International, says the scholarship programme was established to give New Zealanders the opportunity to experience what it's like to operate in a different country and culture, and build all important people-to-people networks with our trading partners.

    “Listening to returned students talk about their experiences; it’s clear it’s an opportunity that’s had a significant impact on those involved. One recipient got in touch recently to report her experience studying in Hong Kong had an immediate impact – helping her to secure a job with a top law firm who were very interested in her overseas experience.”

    “I’m delighted at how quickly people have leaped at this opportunity to develop their international outlook and act as ambassadors for New Zealand education in parts of the world where there’s generally very low awareness about our country, let alone our way of thinking, learning or teaching.”

    Mr Bull says the scholarships demonstrate reciprocity in New Zealand’s education relationships, something that’s very important as ENZ works to intensify education recruitment, business development and government relations activity throughout the region.

    Applications are open for the next round of the Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia and close 28 September 2014. Applications can be made by individuals or groups.

    Mr Bull says overall, the quantity and quality of applications greatly exceeded expectations; a fantastic outcome for a programme that’s only just begun.

    “I encourage future applications to take the time to prepare high quality applications – the bar is only going to go up.”

  • New Zealand - the most exciting place to learn a new language

    The two agencies have joined forces to attract young Japanese to New Zealand with the offer of up to $300 worth of adventure activities.

    Every student who enrols with one of the 22 English Language Schools (who are all part of the English New Zealand group) taking part in the campaign will get to experience some of the best adventures New Zealand has to offer. Activities range from a bungy jump in Queenstown to a jet boat ride on Auckland’s magnificent harbour. 

    The campaign will run through to June.

    Tourism New Zealand’s Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says international students contribute significant tourism dollars to the country by travelling during their study, and hosting their friends and family. “The education market is a significant one, so it makes perfect sense for us to combine our efforts, and leverage the combined strength of the New Zealand brand as both an education and tourism destination, to convert more students to travel and study here.”

    Grant McPherson, Chief Executive, Education New Zealand says this campaign is a great example of the education-tourism opportunities which exist in New Zealand.

    “Tourism New Zealand’s flagship campaign 100% Pure New Zealand tells the story of this country's unparalleled combination of landscapes, people and activities.

    “New Zealand is one of the highest quality English language education destinations in the world but it is our setting which really makes us stand out from the crowd so it makes a lot of sense for the two agencies to join forces on a marketing campaign. I am excited to see the results.”

    The campaign challenges Japanese students already thinking about studying in New Zealand to take the next step and convert their general interest into actual enrolment.   

    Japan is currently New Zealand’s fourth largest source country for international students but there is potential to grow this market further.

     The Japanese government has an increased focus on international education and improving English language skills in the lead up to hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics. ENZ is looking to capitalise on this opportunity.

     Education New Zealand (ENZ), the government agency responsible for marketing international education is working on realising that opportunity. 

    Visit the campaign website

  • Growth in EdTech great for NZ exports

    “Some of the major trends are now working in our favour,” says Mr Meade, Head of Strategy for Designworks in Wellington. “We are no longer isolated from new markets and increasingly students and consumers prefer to interact remotely, on their terms. This all presents a great opportunity for market growth.”

    The national EdTech for Export Conference (eT4e 2014) is on in Wellington on 19 and 20 June. It aims to connect the education sector with tech businesses to ensure New Zealand enjoys growth in this sector – now worth $86 billion globally and forecast to grow to $257 billion by 2017 and is organised by Grow Wellington and Education New Zealand. You can still register for the conference at www.edtechforexport.co.nz

    eT4e 2014 will be opened by Hon Steven Joyce, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment and feature international speakers including;
    • Jennifer Carolan, head of NewSchools Venture Fund in California

    • Jan Zawadzki, founder of Hapara, a company which has already attracted investment from NewSchools from its work in New Zealand

    • Lee Wilson, the CEO of Wisconsin-based Filament Games

    • Dr Erkki Sutinen, head of the edTech Research Group at the University of Eastern Finland.

    An exciting range of speakers from New Zealand include;
    • Chris Meade, Head of Strategy for Designworks in Wellington

    • Dr Sue Watson, the founding CEO of Summit Education Asia Pacific, a division of the Commonwealth Education Trust

    • Silvia Zuur from Chalkle

    • Chris Bulman from CustardSquare

    • Noeline Anderson, director of digital publishing company Pixelhouse

    • Adrian Sallis from Vital English

    • Maru Nihoniho from Metia Interactive

    • Dave Moskovitz from WebFund.

  • Flying Kiwis in Chile

    The students have been living with host families and attending school in Santiago, giving them a great opportunity to immerse themselves in the Chilean culture as well as practice their language skills.

    Last Friday the Flying Kiwis visited Escuela Nueva Zelandia, a school named after New Zealand and located in Independicia commune, an underprivileged area in Santiago. They talked to the students about New Zealand, and in return the Chileans taught the group the traditional Chilean dance cueca.

    The Flying Kiwis have also visited La Moneda, the presidential palace in Santiago where they had a short meeting with the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgardo Riveros, who was very pleased to meet them.

    The Flying Kiwis programme was developed in response to the successful Chilean government-sponsored Penguins without Borders programme, which sees Chilean students coming to New Zealand to study.

    The objectives of the scholarship scheme are to broaden New Zealand students’ cultural awareness, encourage New Zealand schools to build relationships with Chilean schools and to promote our school education to the Chilean market.

    New Zealand is the first country to develop such an exchange with Chile, creating bonds between our two countries and lifelong connections for all the students taking part.

    The Flying Kiwis farewelled Santiago on 24 June and are winging their way back to their families and friends in New Zealand.

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  • Game On English launched in style

    New Zealand has teamed up its expertise in rugby and English language teaching to develop a new edu-sport programme for Japan in the lead up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics.

    On Monday 7 July Prime Minister John Key and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched Game On English in Auckland as part of Mr Abe's official visit to New Zealand.

    The leaders threw a rugby ball to the programme’s inaugural students – Japan's national sevens female champions from Iwami Chisuikan High School – to kick off a rugby skills training session and officially launch the programme.

    The Prime Ministers, current All Black Conrad Smith and Huriana Manuel, captain of the New Zealand women's sevens team and Black Fern, met and shook hands with each of the rugby players before they went through their training paces.

    In the lead up to Japan hosting the Rugby World Cup and Summer Olympics Prime Minister Abe has announced a government goal to improve English language skills and increase sporting capacity amongst youth.

    "As a country with an envious track record of developing the world’s best rugby players and a top quality education system, New Zealand is well placed to help the Japanese government meet their goal," says Grant McPherson, Chief Executive, Education New Zealand.

    The Game On English programme matches English language providers with sports academies to deliver centrally-organised, bespoke courses for young athletes.

    "Growing export revenue from international education is a key part of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda. Programmes such as Game On English are aligning New Zealand’s educational expertise with demand in the global market."

    Japan is now the third largest source of international students to New Zealand. 

    "Our success as a country will be determined by our level of connectedness with the rest of the world. Education is one of the best ways to build international linkages.

    "These students will act as ambassadors for New Zealand education promoting the quality of our education system when they return to Japan," says Mr McPherson.

    The Iwami Chisuikan sevens team are studying English at the English Language Centre of Auckland Institute of Studies (AIS) in the morning and training with Auckland Rugby Academy in the afternoon for the month they are in New Zealand.

    "New Zealand is very different from Japan, but the people here made it really easy for me to adapt and feel comfortable. I enjoy being able to communicate freely with people from different backgrounds in class, and the support we get from teachers is invaluable," says Iwami Chisuikan player Aoi Kurokawa.

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    "Kiwis train differently – they emphasise technique and make training fun. I would like to bring what I learned back to Japan."

    Ran Aoki is also enjoying her rugby in New Zealand. "The best part of the programme is the training. Auckland Rugby make it fun and give invaluable comments and feedback."

    "Kiwis value the quality of training in a given timeframe over accumulated hours which allows us to get the most out of our short stay in New Zealand.

    "I learn English all around – in class, whilst training, and at home with my homestay family!"

    In two weeks a second group of Game On English students will arrive from Japan. 

    Eleven secondary school players from Kanto Super League will be based in Dunedin - studying English at the University of Otago Language Centre and receiving rugby training from Otago Rugby Football Union and local Dunedin high schools.

    Both groups of students are in New Zealand at the invitation of the New Zealand government to pilot the programme. 

    "It is our intention that Game on English will be rolled out nationally and New Zealand will support Japan in achieving their English language and sporting ambitions in the next five to six years and beyond," says Mr McPherson.

    We will evaluate the pilot programme over the next month and advise the next step in due course.

  • Bold gaokao reforms announced

    The changes will see the removal of streaming – a policy which has been in place since 1957 – allowing students greater flexibility in subject choices to count toward their final score. Higher education admission processes are also slated to change.

    Common subjects remain

    Under the current gaokao system, students must study Chinese language, maths and a foreign language (usually, but not exclusively, English). Students will continue to study these common subjects.

    While the three common subjects will be tested at a ‘unified date’, many provinces will allow students to take two separate exams for English and submit their best result.

    Streaming abolished

    The reforms will remove the policy of streaming students into the arts stream or the science stream in their second year of senior high school. Instead, students will study a mix of arts and science subjects.

    More subjects introduced

    As well as the three common subjects, the reforms will see students study 11 others. The 11 subject areas will likely vary between provinces.

    While students must study all 11 subjects, only three results from six identified subjects – history, geography, politics, chemistry, biology and physics – will count toward their overall gaokao score. The three results may be a student’s best results and/or be from subject areas which align well with their future study plans.

    The 11 subjects will be assessed based on a ranking system, with students awarded a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ grade. How the rankings will be converted into scores for the overall gaokao score is an area that will be clarified through implementation plans.

    These changes will likely see students prioritise particular subjects based on their future study plans.

    Change in admission processes

    The admission processes of China’s higher education institutions will also change. The reforms encourage institutions to adopt a multidimensional enrolment system; to look beyond a singular focus on gaokao results to include ‘academic performance’ and ‘overall qualities’ in their assessments.

    With the removal of streaming, it is likely that Chinese higher education institutions will provide students with greater clarity as to the subject requirements they must meet to apply for specific fields of study – for example, a higher score in politics may be more important for students seeking to study law than biology.

    Another change relates to the ‘extra points’ policy. This policy saw students with strengths in sports or artistic pursuits awarded bonus points for the gaokao and thus a better chance of entering top universities. This policy will be removed from 2015.

    Implementation

    The China Ministry of Education has designated Shanghai municipality and Zhejiang province as pilot areas for the reforms. Implementation will begin later this year for first year students at senior high schools.

    Both Shanghai and Zhejiang are expected to publish implementation plans in the coming months which will outline in greater detail how the reforms will be implemented.

    The reforms will be rolled out nationwide from 2017 and are expected to be fully implemented by 2020.

    Rationale for the change

    The reforms follow the significant debate across China about the education system’s ‘fitness for purpose’ in an era where innovation is essential for the next phase of China’s economic development.

    The reforms seek to address common criticisms of the gaokao. As Vice Minister of Education Du Yubo said, “to put it simply, we are trying to solve the problem of yi kao ding zhong shen (one exam determines one's entire life)”.

    Greater international recognition likely

    The reforms will likely stimulate an increase in the number of tertiary institutions around the world accepting gaokao for admission into degree programmes. A growing number of institutions already accept gaokao results, including seven of Australia’s Group of Eight universities.

    Education New Zealand has been working with Universities New Zealand on the acceptance of gaokao results for direct entry. We are interested in hearing from all New Zealand providers which do currently or are considering direct entry on the basis of gaokao. Email us at china@enz.govt.nz.

  • Game On English a hit in Tokyo

    The event provided an opportunity to showcase the benefits of the programme and to get feedback from the students to help with discussions on the further development of the programme.
     
    Held at the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo, the event brought together the students, Japanese Ministry of Education officials, Japan Rugby Union representatives, media and other stakeholders. Adding real star power to the event was Black Ferns Captain Huriana Manuel – along with a black moonboot – following up on her attendance at the launch of Game On English in Auckland back in July. 
     
    Students from both of the pilots presented on their experience in New Zealand– many in English. The students were full of confidence and enthusiasm about what they had learnt and experienced in New Zealand.
     
    Vice Minister for Education Shinichi Yamanaka spent time with the students as they talked about their time in New Zealand. Chairman of the Japanese Rugby Football Union, Tatsuzo Yabe also attended the event and spoke positively about this NZ Inc. initiative. Both commented on the holistic nature of the programme, equally developing students’ English language and rugby skills which are necessary to play at the top level. 
     
    Japan is now looking towards hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics which will feature Sevens Rugby, sparking an increased interest in rugby in Japan. We are now exploring how the Game On English programme might be developed in 2015 and beyond. 
     
    Two teams participated in the pilot programmes. The first, a top girls’ sevens team from Iwami Chisuikan High School spent four weeks in Auckland working on their English with the Auckland Institute of Studies and their rugby skills with the Auckland Rugby Academy. Their visit coincided with Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit to New Zealand, and he and Prime Minister Key launched Game On English in style in Auckland.
     
    Player Ran Aoki said: “The best part of the programme was the training. Auckland Rugby made it fun and give invaluable comments and feedback.
     
    “Kiwis value the quality of training in a given timeframe over accumulated hours which allowed us to get the most out of our short stay in New Zealand.”
     
    The second team in the Game On English pilot was a group of 11 boys from the 11 schools making up the Kanto Super League who were in Dunedin from mid-July through early August. The boys divided their time between the gym and training ground with the Otago Rugby Football Union and the classroom at the University of Otago Language Centre.
     
    “Partnerships between English language schools and rugby unions were key to the success of the pilot programmes. For the month they were in New Zealand, the students were fully immersed in an English speaking environment which started with their homestay families and went on the through the classroom and into their rugby,” said Francesca Hilbron, ENZ’s International Market Manager.
     
    “And they’ve had a New Zealand rugby experience that could see them on the way to being stars of the future.”
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  • New Zealand shines at China Education Expo

    As the photos show, New Zealand’s presence at the fair had a big impact, with the Kiwiana finger puppets proving a popular and distinctive crowd pleaser as students assessed a sea of study options. 

    Initial feedback from industry participants also noted an increase in interest from agents; they report New Zealand is more and more in demand by their customers. The Beijing agent seminar had 120 participants, the majority of which were agents, who had come along to meet New Zealand institutions. 

    Alex Grace, Regional Director – Greater China, says collective hard work by government and industry to build awareness and raise perceptions of quality is clearly having an impact.

    “ENZ, as the government’s lead agency for international education, has paid particular attention to raising the bar in terms of how we package and present the New Zealand education experience. That was noticed and commented on with envy by other countries.”

    “It is gratifying to work in partnership with such a committed and professional group as that which signed up for CEE and our agent seminars. It is only by working together that we’ll increase the impact of our activities and a make a difference.”

    New Zealand: Country of Honour for CEE 2015

    And there is more good news: New Zealand will be the Country of Honour for CEE 2015. Alex says: “Ambassador Carl Worker and I attended the Gala Dinner event at which New Zealand was named as next year’s CEE Country of Honour. This is a major achievement, representing not only the relationships developed by ENZ, but also the commitment over the years by our industry. Please start planning now to participate in October/November next year!”

    Fairs and agent seminars continue in Guangzhou, Chengdu and Shanghai through 3 November.

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  • PM’s Scholarships for Asia announced

    “The experience these students will have while living and studying in a different culture will stay with them for the rest of their lives,” says Peter Bull, Education New Zealand’s General Manager International.

    “While in Asia, the students will establish enduring relationships and networks that will help them to succeed in the global economy and bring benefits to New Zealand.”

    “Education relationships are two-way and having smart capable New Zealand students studying in Asia is very valuable in building capability for New Zealand's future.”

    The Prime Minister’s Scholarships for Asia cover overseas study, research or internships ranging from six weeks to two years at the best Asian institutions.

    Successful recipients include a group of students from Unitec who will travel to Japan with service robots they have built, a student from the University of Auckland undertaking a Masters in International Law at Seoul University, and a student with a background in primary produce markets aiming to complete a Chinese language course so he can specialise in trade between New Zealand and China.

    Since the inaugural awards in December 2013, just over 350 New Zealand students have been awarded PMSA scholarships. 

    “As well as the individual benefits, scholarship recipients act as ambassadors for New Zealand and showcase the quality of our education system wherever they go in Asia. The more Kiwis who get the chance to study overseas, the better for our own international education industry,” says Mr Bull.

    “Our students make an invaluable contribution toward raising awareness of New Zealand, giving Asian students a direct link with study in our country and representing the possibilities that are out there to experience the benefits of an international education.” 

    Applications are now open for the next round of scholarships and close on 30 March 2015. Visit the PMSA pages to find out more about eligibility and the application process, and for a list of all scholarship recipients to date.

  • Diplomas recognised by Chinese authorities

    Vice Minister of Education Dr Hao Ping and Secretary for Education Peter Hughes signed the Arrangement on Mutual Recognition of Academic Degrees in Higher Education between the Government of New Zealand and the Government of the People’s Republic of China at the 8th Joint Working Group on Education and Training. 

    The Arrangement, first signed in 2002, was updated and re-signed to take into account the range of changes  to the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and related settings that have occurred since 2002.

    In a new move, two and three year diplomas from New Zealand were also added to the list of qualifications officially recognised by Chinese authorities.

    The changes will see greater recognition of academic qualifications between New Zealand and China, making it easier for students to further their studies in either country.

    “This increases New Zealand’s attractiveness at a study destination and expands opportunities for New Zealanders looking to study in China,” said Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce when announcing the signing.

    When Chinese students return to China after their studies, they get their foreign qualifications verified by the China Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE). The updates to the Arrangement ensure that a greater number of students receive the appropriate recognition, enabling them to gain official comparability of their qualifications within the Chinese system. 

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