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  • PMSA scholar dances his way to Taiwan

    Xavier Muao BreedMy seven weeks in Taiwan has changed my life, inspired new career and life goals and given me tools to fuel my aspirations as a choreographer and diplomat. 

    I had already been to Taiwan in 2017, when I was a visiting scholar doing research at the prestigious dance school within the Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA). I did my thesis as part of my Postgraduate Diploma of Dance Studies for the University of Auckland.

    My 2018 trip was focussed on learning and teaching indigenous dance and allowed me to reconnect with relationships I’d built the previous year, as well as build new ones with students, graduates and teachers of the TNUA department.

    As a returning visitor to Taiwan, I felt it was important to attend the Amis Tribe harvest festival in Fengbin, Hualien County, to gain a deeper understanding of indigenous Taiwanese people. The Amis is the biggest indigenous tribe in Taiwan, and the harvest festival is one of the most important ceremonies of the tribe’s calendar year. They give thanks to ancestral spirits and celebrate their life and culture through dance, music, sports and unity.

    Xavier with friends from the Amis Tribe.

    As part of the celebrations, I helped choreograph a dance for some members of the tribe to perform for the chiefs and whole tribe. As they were only fluent in Mandarin Chinese, and I am only fluent in English, we had to communicate through hand gestures and facial expressions. By the end, I had become closer with the members of the group and understood more about their tribe, their culture and their personalities that transcends verbal communication. 

    I spent some time with Taiwan’s top indigenous contemporary dance company, Bularaeyang Dance Company, located in Taitung in the South-east of Taiwan. There, I took part in indigenous dance and music lessons, observed rehearsals and taught a movement class for the company members inspired by traditional Pacific dance styles fused with contemporary dance. I also taught Samoan sāsā, explaining the history and meaning behind sāsā and its significance in Samoa. I also taught Pacific and Pacific-Contemporary dance workshops at the TNUA Department of Dance, which is renowned for creating some of the world’s elite contemporary dance artists.

    Though this was my second time in Taiwan, there were still some misunderstandings when speaking Mandarin Chinese. For example, when I would get thirsty during class I’d tell my classmates I needed a drink of water. Unfortunately, I always got my tone for the Chinese word for water, Shuǐ, mixed up with the word for sleep, Shuì, so people always thought I was tired or wanted to sleep during class!

    “In Taiwan, I connected with fellow Kiwis working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Asia New Zealand Foundation. Building these relationships was important as I hope to undertake a career in diplomacy in the future.”

    I got to make further connections with top arts and dance festival producers, directors and curators at the Asia Discover Asia Meeting (ADAM), a festival and forum in Taipei where attendees from Australasia and the world come together to look at the future of arts and dance in Asia. It is an important event in which to collaborate, network and discuss project ideas for the future.

    During my time in Taiwan, I connected with fellow Kiwis working for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Asia New Zealand Foundation. Building these relationships was important to me as I hope to undertake a career in diplomacy in the future alongside my choreographic and artistic career. One contact was a fellow Samoan and family friend, and she provided me with advice about a career in international diplomacy. She also put me forward for a life-changing experience – the Indigenous Austronesian Forum, which I attended and represented New Zealand and Samoa.

    The two-day Forum was hosted by the Taiwanese government, the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan and the Centre for Indigenous Studies and held at the National Donghwa University. Delegates came from indigenous tribes across Taiwan and the Pacific to take part in cultural exchanges, performances, indigenous community outreaches and to learn about issues in the region. A declaration was proposed at the forum, to create an agreement and document that highlighted issues of indigenous Austronesian people and how to improve and advocate for issues within governments and institutions. I am now collating this document and have been in discussions with the forum to return to Taiwan next year as a facilitator.

    I thank the PMSA for supporting my aspirations and my research project. I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity.

    Xavier (bottom left) with Bularaeyang Dance Company members after teaching their class

    Xavier with friends, some of them exchange students from Australia and the US.

  • Brazilian students look to New Zealand tertiary studies

    Organised by Brazil agent FPP Edu-Media, ENZ attended the high school tour to introduce Brazilian students to the tertiary possibilities in New Zealand, particularly undergraduate qualifications.

    The last BELTA SEAL Survey from March 2018 shows that 30% of the Brazilians who studied overseas in 2017 were in the 18 to 21 age group, and that their main motivation for international education is to stand out professionally. 

    Daniela Ronchetti, Director of Operations at FPP Edu-Media, says while short-term programmes have typically been the most popular overseas study for Brazilian students, there's a growing interest in undertaking full degrees overseas.

    “Many of these students, fluent in English and with experience of overseas study via summer courses at a young age, are comfortable enrolling in international universities.

    “With interest in the US and UK declining, Brazilian students are looking closer at New Zealand, Australia and Canada when considering a full degree abroad.”

    Ana Azevedo, ENZ’s Senior Market Development Manager for Brazil, visited eight international secondary schools, from small boutique schools with 15 students per class to large education groups with thousands of students, which are all investing in pathways to international tertiary education.

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    ENZ’s Ana Azevedo with Marilda Bardal, International Relations Coordinator at International School Alphaville.

    “These schools typically offer bilingual education, IB (International Baccalaureate) or the American diploma and academic counselling, so that by the time students complete high school, they are prepared for an international experience,” said Ana.

    Also in attendance were government education organisations and universities from the US, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK – but Ana said New Zealand had an edge.

    “It was a great experience to stand among our competitors at the opening of each event and present New Zealand as the country that best prepares students for the future – not an easy ranking to beat!”

    “There is still work to be done on raising awareness of all that New Zealand has to offer to Brazilian students, particularly in tertiary education. It is a significant investment for a family so we need to be clear about the return of this investment.  

    “Showing students the variety of programmes they can find in New Zealand, the cultural diversity and welcoming environment – very few countries offer this combination. It is a full package!”

     

  • Students around the globe join New Zealand summit

    Kicking off this week with seminars on the space economy and mechanisms for social change, and the human cost of climate change, the online global workshop connects a diverse group of potential international students to help them connect, collaborate and shape their future.

    ENZ’s Deanna Anderson, Business Development Manager says the project offers ENZ a great opportunity to learn more about the motivations of learners from new markets while offering the students involved a unique digital engagement with New Zealand.

    “It’s a two-way learning experience that explores the futures of our next generation of learners while offering them a window into New Zealand’s unique way of problem solving.

    “The aim is to create an inspiring initiative that engages hundreds of students and allows us to use their insights to better understand the future of our next generation of learners.

    “Each student has the ability to offer insight that could help shape a more personalised, meaningful, relevant and uniquely New Zealand education experience.” 

    The summit involves 12 expert speakers who are presenting six online seminars on topics ranging from sustainable design to social entrepreneurship to climate change.

    “After the seminar series, the students will be involved in a co-creation weekend where they will work as part of 65 online challenge groups to discuss solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing issues such as energy production, waste as a resource and the future of human survival.”

    Deanna says this pilot research project will provide invaluable insights for New Zealand’s international education sector that will inform the direction of future industry innovation.

    For more information or to join the webinars, visit https://www.emergingfutures.co.nz/

  • Kiwi schools hit the road in the Philippines

    Led by a team of ENZ staff, the group made the journey through Manila and Cebu over one week in September in a (very cosy) ENZ bus.

    Desiree Lee, ENZ’s Market Manager, Malaysia and Philippines, said it was great to see the camaraderie shared by New Zealand providers and the shared vision of promoting New Zealand education to the world.

    “We had a blast hosting our energetic providers from the university, ITP, PTE and school sectors across the Philippines. We braved the Manila traffic together, met with more than 200 international school students whose interests ranged from medicine to creative writing.”

    The providers had another chance to meet school counsellors, New Zealand alumni and parents at the ENZ Networking Night hosted by Ambassador to the Philippines, David Strachan, at the Official Residence.

    “Most Filipino students considering study abroad are from the private education network and, to attract these students to New Zealand, we have to be prepared to compete against strong brand names like there are in the US,” explains Desiree.

    “The US is the most high-profile study destination for Filipino students, with a very active in-market presence including many Ivy League names such as Stanford University.

    “Targeted activities such as the Schools Roadshow is a chance to get some face time with these students and present our unique offering.”

    The tour of the Philippines was capped off with an oversubscribed agent seminar in Cebu, where Immigration New Zealand gave key market updates.

    “They revealed that Cebu, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Davao del Sur and Cavite are the top five regions where student applicants are coming from.

    “INZ also highly recommends the use of its online application platform which is far more cost and time efficient.”

    New Zealand providers included Carmel College, Rangitoto College, University of Auckland, Massey University, ACG Education, Ara Institute of Canterbury, Southern Institute of Technology, Toi Ohomai, WelTec & Whitireia, Eastern Institute of Technology, Manukau Institute of Technology, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology, and more.

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    Braving traffic in Manila on the ENZ Bus

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    At the Chinese International School Manila

  • China and New Zealand discuss vocational collaboration

    New Zealand ITPs, PTEs and a delegation of 51 senior leaders from Chinese vocational education institutions attended the 6th Annual Sino New Zealand Model Programme Symposium to share research and discuss collaboration in vocational education. 

    The symposium theme was fostering innovation and entrepreneurship skills in students at vocational and training institutions.

    The head of the Chinese delegation, Mr Chen Qiaming, Chair of Council at Szenshen Polytechnic, said innovation and entrepreneurship skills are vital to China’s Made in China 2025 strategy and that Chinese TVET institutions must cultivate these skills in its students. For this reason, many Chinese institutions are looking to collaborate with New Zealand institutions for teacher and student exchanges and assistance with curriculum development.

    It was apparent in discussions that Chinese delegates value New Zealand’s “integrated” multi-disciplinary approach and are keen to embed such approaches in their own education programmes. Besides an ongoing interest in vocational teacher training, there also seemed to be growing interest in work-readiness and English-language courses to help create an “internationalised” and employable workforce in China.

    China’s appetite for establishing its credentials as a provider of international education also continues to grow – a number of Chinese representatives said hosting international students from New Zealand was a key priority for them.

    ENZ’s Regional Director – China & North Asia, Adele Bryant, said the scale of Chinese representation there reflected the appeal of partnering with New Zealand.

    “China’s interest in pursuing new opportunities with our vocational institutions is a testament to our reputation for creating creative and innovative thinkers and developing soft skills required for the modern workforce – as evidenced by New Zealand’s ranking first in the world for preparing students for the future.”

    “It makes a lot of sense for our two countries to work together to leverage each other’s strengths.”

    Tony O’Brien, Sino NZ Model Programme Director, said it was very unusual to get such a large group of senior leaders from China in New Zealand for such an event. It was therefore excellent to have so many New Zealand providers represented at the conference to network and form relationships with their peers in China.

    ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson spoke at the forum, which was also attended by representatives from 11 New Zealand ITPs (NMIT, Weltec/Whitireia, SIT, WINTEC, UNITEC, Toi Ohomai, Otago Polytechnic, MIT, EIT, UCOL and NorthTec), four PTES (ACG, New Zealand Institute of Education, Tasman International Academies and Skills International), and delegates from the Industry Training Federation and New Zealand Council for Educational Research.

    The Sino NZ Model Programme is part of the Strategic Education Partnership Agreement between New Zealand and China. It is a vehicle for deeper and broader collaboration between the two countries’ professional and vocational education and training sectors.

  • Around the world in five

    THAILAND

    Reassessing the Thai education system

    Thailand’s PISA scores have plunged. Among the challenges are the many celebrations and holidays that take children out of the classroom and the huge quantity of paperwork that reduces teachers’ ability to focus on students’ learning.

    Read more

     

    INDIA

    IT superpower India has the world’s least tech-savvy classrooms

    India’s classrooms are by and large outdated. Most Indian classrooms lag in incorporating smartphones, tablets, or even the simple whiteboard – over two-thirds of Indian classrooms surveyed use blackboards and chalk.

    Read more

     

    CHINA, UK

    Over 500 teachers from China, UK exchange math teaching methods

    Over the past four years, more than 500 teachers from China and the United Kingdom have participated in an exchange program enabling both sides to learn from each other's math teaching methods.

    Read more

     

    AUSTRALIA

    Rainbow Hub launches LGBTQI video campaign

    Brisbane’s Rainbow Hub initiative has launched a new video campaign to promote the city as a welcoming destination for LGBTQI+ international students and promote their services.

    Read more

     

    GREECE

    Significant increase in U.S. students studying in Greece

    There has been a significant increase in the number of American university students visiting Greece for study abroad programs in the 2016/17 academic year – a 21.1 percent increase from the previous academic year.

    Read more

  • Japanese students help Kiwis to think global

    “Our relationship with Jissen Gakuen has developed slowly over a twenty-two-year period. This has helped ensure that it is not only sustainable, but benefits everyone involved,” said Wayne Hegarty, Principal Marlborough Boys’ College. 

    Each year, students from Jissen, a co-educational junior and senior school, spend between eight days and one year studying in the Marlborough region.

    “We’ve recently hosted a group of students who had the most fantastic stay,” said Zoe Gray, International Director at Marlborough Girls’ College.

    “They made lifelong bonds with their new Kiwi friends in such a short amount of time – they were so upset about leaving that it took the visiting students a whole two hours to get on the bus to start their trip home.”

    “We’re told the visiting teachers and students thoroughly enjoyed their time here in Marlborough and can’t stop talking about it now they’re back home. 

    “It’s been a wonderful opportunity for our local students too. The ‘buddies’ have benefitted significantly from the experience.”

    “Supporting our students to develop global skills is an important part of our curriculum.” 

    During their stay in Marlborough, the Japanese students are either hosted by a local family with young people of a similar age or are partnered up with a buddy at school. This buddy programme encourages and supports local students to develop leadership skills, interact with students from other cultures, and form international connections.   

    As part of the education relationship with Jissen Gakuen, both Marlborough Girls’ and Boys’ College offer scholarships for local students to travel to Tokyo to study at Jissen Gakuen (two boys and two girls). The Ota scholarship was first offered to year nine students in 2004. 

    “The scholarships are incredibly popular and each year we receive a large number of worthy applicants. The panel’s job to select just two students from each college is incredibly difficult,” said Zoe.

    “In Japan, our students are placed with host families for ten days. They study Japanese culture, help facilitate English classes and are encouraged to take part in the daily rituals of their host family.

    “Supporting our students to develop global skills is an important part of our curriculum.” 

  • International students learn about sustainability

    As part of the English Language School’s commitment to sustainability, New Horizon students are taking part in regular tree-planting days, with the planted trees then being named after individual students.

    Through a connection with Fresh Air Forests, a sub-group of Habitat Biodiversity and Pest Management Limited, students now not only plant trees but also receive certificates with the coordinates of their exact tree, so they can track its growth and progress in real time once they return home.

    Student Issaree Homjun is a big fan of the initiative saying she enjoyed the combination of being outside and “doing something good for the planet.”

    Lindsey Scott at New Horizon College said that while the experience itself is enjoyable, it’s the drive to keep New Zealand’s environment healthy and beautiful that is the biggest motivator.

    “It spreads the message of environmental responsibility, which is one of New Horizon’s core values,” Lindsey said.

    “Students are not only improving their English language skills but are making a tangible contribution to the wider Hawke’s Bay community.”

    New Horizon’s plans to promote sustainability don’t end here.

    “We’re starting a ‘bags not’ movement, aimed at significantly reducing single-use plastic bags. This sits alongside opportunities for our students to participate in local community projects organised by the Regional Council and Forest and Bird.”

    A focus on the environment is also being woven into the teaching programme at New Horizon College.

    “We’re launching a new course called English and the Environment. Environmental concerns are of course of significant international interest. We’ll focus both on what we’re doing well but also on identifying areas for improvement, and how we might share ideas with other countries.”

  • Japanese teachers tour Kiwi schools

    The 10 teacher participants were carefully selected from New Zealand education seminars in 2018. It was oversubscribed, showing strong interest among Japanese teachers wanting to learn about what makes New Zealand education special.

    In partnership with SIEBA and regional education bodies, the group visited four schools and enjoyed tourism activities in Hamilton, Cambridge, Rotorua, Taupo, Tauranga and Auckland including Te Puia, Huka Falls and the Waitomo Caves to show what each city offers students outside of the classroom.

    Misa Kitaoka, ENZ’s Senior Market Development Manager for Japan, said the teachers were very interested to learn about Kiwi’s different approaches to teaching.

    “A teacher from Tauranga Boys’ College showed us how Google Classroom was used in his class which was a great learning experience for the Japanese teachers as they transition from lecture style to more student-led learning,” said Misa.

    “NCEA offering subjects like food technology, creative arts and performing arts was also seen as a real strength of New Zealand’s secondary school education, as it supports creativity as well as students’ wellbeing.

    “The teachers were particularly impressed by the strong Māori influence in New Zealand schools.”

    An English language teacher from Hiroshima Jogakuin Junior and Senior High School noted, “During this tour, I was so impressed with Māori culture and their spirituality. I would very much like my students to enjoy the lovely experience that I had there, to learn what well-being is, and to find a path they can follow.”

    With Japan hosting the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, the Japanese government will be implementing education policies to promote English education, resulting in a strong interest from schools and universities across Japan to study abroad to learn English.

    “Since 2015, school teacher famils have resulted in an increase of 735 students,” said Misa.

    “These famils wouldn’t have been possible without our partnership with Air New Zealand. We are very interested in replicating it in the future for the tertiary sector.”

  • ENZ to test new digital platform for improving students’ experiences

    After two years of research and consideration, we have developed a world-leading digital solution to improve student experience outcomes wherever they study and live in New Zealand,” said ENZ Student Experience Director, Hayley Shields.   

    Hayley said nau mai’ was both an invitation and a welcome in Māori and, in this instance, a call to action.  

    The platformNauMai NZ, has been created in the spirit of manaakitanga – to welcome and respect our visitors, support them as they transition into a new country and culture, aid social inclusion and help them have the best possible experience whilst here. 

    Students have consistently told us they require improved access to timely, accurate information, and guidance about the best places to find answers to their questions,” said Hayley. 

    NauMai NZ will help international students get the pre-emptive information they need, and make suggestions to support them as they navigate daily life in their new home. 

    The new platform will be rolled out in three phases. The first phase will help education providers to meet student needs by directing them to a single source of government informationInformation on the site reflects the international student journey from pre-arrival and across the first six months. 

    NauMai NZ is directed toward life, work and social connections beyond a school or campus – for example, information on housing and accommodation or the New Zealand accent,” said Hayley.  

    During the testing period, ENZ will invite a targeted group of students who are studying at a range of providers to engage with NauMai NZ as we prepare for its official launch.  

    NauMai NZ aligns with a key action in the International Education Strategy launched last August – to continue to improve the availability of clear, timely and customer-focused information about education and immigration to students and providers. 

    It also embodies the key objectives of the International Student Wellbeing Strategy, launched in June 2017, by providing content supporting and enhancing the social, cultural, community, health and wellbeing needs of international students. 

    NauMai NZ is a distinctively New Zealand initiative, and will contribute to setting New Zealand apart as fully committed to the wellbeing of international students and ensuring they have a great experience here,” said Hayley.   

    “Stay tuned for announcements over the coming months – we will be sharing more oncNauMai NZ is confirmed.  

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