Recovery plan for the international education sector


The Minister of Education has announced a long-term recovery plan for the international education sector.

It includes a $51.6 million investment from the COVID-19 recovery and response fund to help reset New Zealand’s international education sector.

The Plan consists of three concurrent workstreams that focus on stabilising the international education sector, strengthening the system, and accelerating the transformation of the sector as signalled in the 2018 International Education Strategy.

It includes:   

  • $20 million in support for state and state-integrated schools to continue to employ the specialist international workforce to provide teaching and pastoral care to international students in New Zealand this year. 
  • $10 million targeted and immediate funding to private training providers of strategic importance (including English language schools) to preserve the foundations of the sector. MOE is developing eligibility criteria which will be implemented by TEC; providers can apply to TEC from mid-August.  
  • $1.5 million for English Language Schools to deliver English language training to migrants to help them to succeed in our schools and communities. 
  • $6.6 million to continue pastoral care and other activities normally funded by the Export Education Levy. 
  • $500k for NZQA to ensure the quality of New Zealand education being delivered offshore, and continue strengthening ongoing quality assurance processes.

ENZ will administer:

  • $3 million for marketing and brand protection activities to keep New Zealand’s education brand visible in key markets and to ensure we capitalise on the strong international reputation New Zealand has gained through its handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • $10 million to develop new future-focused products and services to drive growth in our system onshore and offshore, to ensure a more resilient sector. This will include: 
  • An offshore pathways initiative to enable learners to begin their New Zealand education journey from their home country and to study programmes that pathway directly into bachelors and masters degrees in New Zealand, providing greater flexibility for learners and resilience to shocks.
  • A New Zealand digital platform to provide a single strong New Zealand brand and presence to enable New Zealand providers to deliver their education products and study programmes to more people offshore, and to meet changing learner needs.  

Education New Zealand will also support and drive the Recovery Plan through its annual activity. This will include brand positioning, maintaining engagement with students, partners and agents offshore, student retention and transitions, building the international reputation of New Zealand education, and working with the sector and regions on innovation and new modes of delivery.

The Ministry of Education has developed criteria for the allocation of funding for Private Training Establishments (PTEs) and English language schools, to be implemented by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC)

Fund for PTEs in financial difficulty due to COVID-19 open for application

Private Training Establishments (PTEs) facing difficulties because of the impacts of COVID-19 can now apply for funding from the Private Training Establishment (PTE) Targeted Assistance Fund (TAF).

Applications are open until 5pm on 11 September 2020.

The fund will provide assistance to PTEs that attract international students to their region, and have a unique education offering that contributes to skills development and students pathways. This includes those which may be the only provider of that type in the region and/or are a significant employer in the region. This also includes PTEs that support the broader international education sector and the wider economy.

To be eligible to apply for this funding, PTEs must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • be a private training establishment as defined in section 10(1) of the Education and Training Act 2020
  • hold a Category 1 or Category 2 External Evaluation and Review (EER) rating from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as at 1 July 2020,
  • have experienced at 40% decline in revenue between 1 March and 31 December 2020 (actual and projected, with the latter auditable) compared with the same period in 2019. The decline in actual revenue must be related to COVID-19, and
  • have had 50% or more international students enrolled as equivalent full time students (EFTS) in 2019

The PTE Fund is managed by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

For more details visit the PTE Targeted Assistance Fund page.

PTE ESOL Provision Fund

The PTE ESOL Provision Fund closed on 28 August 2020. TEC is currently processing applications and will inform you of the outcomes as soon as possible.

Further information

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