22 August 2019
Letter from the CE: Navigating our changing world
Our national conference – the NZIEC – is always a highlight on ENZ’s annual calendar, and the 2019 event was no exception.
A huge thank you to all those who joined us in Auckland for 2019’s NZIEC. The conference was filled with fascinating presentations, promising new connections and enlightening discussions. It was, however, the collaborative spirit, warm reception and energy of those who attended and presented that made this year’s conference our best yet.
Like many sectors, we are now operating in a state of constant change in terms of students’ needs and wants – and the challenges and opportunities that stem from this was a focus of discussion across the three days of events. NZIEC’s keynote speakers – Guy Ryan, Dr Lisa Coleman, and Professor Chris Gallavin – presented an impressive range of perspectives and ideas across areas including youth leadership and the role of global connectedness, inclusion and diversity, and the value of working together across different sub-sectors.
Our environment is also changing. NZIEC 2019 followed an announcement by Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, about reforms for vocational education in New Zealand. The reforms are intended to ensure the vocational education sector continues to be globally relevant as the nature of work and the skills required in the workplace shifts. Seven key changes will be made, the major one being the establishment of a single public network of vocational training institutes. For more information on the Reform of Vocational Education, click here.
I would like to reiterate the Minister’s reassurance that the changes will be introduced gradually over several years. International students can continue to enrol here with confidence, knowing we are in the process of making their education experience even better. At ENZ we are looking at the opportunities a strong national identity for New Zealand’s vocational training presents offshore.
Lastly, the conference was a chance to acknowledge our strong education relationship with Japan, our country of honour. The nation is the third-largest student source country for New Zealand’s international sector. In 2017, for example, we had 10,272 Japanese students study here. I am confident this relationship will continue to deepen with lots of activity planned in the year ahead.
I hope you enjoy reading this special NZIEC edition of E-News.
Grant McPherson, Chief Executive of Education New Zealand