Education agencies are a crucial part of the promotion and attraction of international students to New Zealand and play an important role in students’ New Zealand education experience. Approximately 50 percent of the students arriving in New Zealand used an agency in some way.
Agents perform a variety of critical tasks within the New Zealand international education industry, and are often the primary, or only, marketing channel for New Zealand education providers promoting themselves offshore.
Recognising their importance to the success of the industry, ENZ wants to increase engagement with quality education agencies that have demonstrated a long-term commitment to promoting New Zealand as an international study destination and are successfully placing students at New Zealand education providers.
Therefore ENZ has refreshed the Education New Zealand Recognised Agency (ENZRA) programme.
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about the ENZRA Programme. If you need further assistance, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is ENZRA?
ENZRA is a programme focused on identifying and engaging with proven, committed and ethical education agencies. Agencies that successfully meet the core objectives of the ENZRA programme will be given ENZ Recognised Agency status.
How does the Recognised Agency programme work?
On a yearly basis, agencies will need to meet three core standards to gain or retain Recognised Agency status. The annual review period for the Recognised Agency programme will be from 1 November to 31 October.
The three core standards are:
- meeting a points target and minimum visa approval rate
- meeting core conduct requirements
- undertaking training as required.
The points-based earning system aims to give confidence to stakeholders that Recognised Agencies are consistently, and successfully, placing international students with New Zealand education providers.
Points earned vary depending on the course and location of study and are broadly aligned with the objectives of the International Education Strategy.
|LEVEL OF STUDY||POINTS|
|Undergraduate Study (Level 7)||10|
|Primary or Secondary School (Minimum two terms)||10|
|Post-Graduate (Level 8-10)||10|
|Foundation / Pathway study||10|
|Graduate Certificate/Diploma (Level 7)||7|
|Certificate/Diploma (Level 5 or 6)||7|
|Certificate (Level 2-4)||7|
|Any study (other than Foundation) between three and nine months||6|
|Any study of less than three months||5|
|Agencies can also earn the following additional points:|
|REGION OF STUDY|
|Campus outside of Auckland||3|
Points are only awarded the first time a student is approved a student visa and enters New Zealand. You can only earn points for students once, no points are earned for subsequent years of study in New Zealand.
Agencies also need to meet a minimum approval rate for student visa applications they lodge with Immigration New Zealand (INZ), which ensures that Recognised Agencies are confident any prospective student meets all requirements for a student visa when they apply to INZ.
|REGION||MINIMUM VISA APPROVAL RATE||ANNUAL POINTS TARGET|
|Germany, France, Italy||98%||100|
|All Other Regions||80%||80|
Additionally, all Recognised Agencies must read and agree to follow the Education New Zealand Code of Conduct and Complaints Process. The Code of Conduct is based on the principles of the London Statement to which New Zealand is a signatory and to which Recognised Agencies must affirm their commitment to upholding. Agencies must also agree to follow the New Zealand Privacy Act.
Finally, Recognised Agencies must undertake training as requested by ENZ. This is to ensure they are providing current and up-to-date information to prospective students regarding the New Zealand education system, and INZ visa requirements.
What’s the difference between the refreshed Recognised Agency programme and earlier ones?
The new ENZRA programme has clear and transparent entry criteria that agencies are required to meet on an annual basis to gain or retain Recognised Agency status. The annual renewal process will ensure every Recognised Agency listed on the Study in New Zealand website is successfully placing students at New Zealand education providers and is providing accurate and useful assistance to students, parents and education providers.
The programme will be administered and monitored fulltime by ENZ. which will also engage more regularly with Recognised Agencies by providing intelligence, training and marketing information to help them promote and market New Zealand education.
The ‘Recognised Agency’ status now applies to whole agencies, whereas the previous programme applied to individual agents.
What kind of results does ENZ want from working with education agencies?
The overall aim of the Recognised Agency programme is to contribute to the attraction of high-value students through ongoing support of quality education agencies which promote and market New Zealand.
Education agencies play an important role in assisting students who are considering studying internationally. By engaging more closely with high-quality agencies, ENZ seeks to increase the number of high-quality students who decide to study here. ENZ also wants to help enrich students' experience by ensuring they are provided with comprehensive, accurate and factual advice regarding studying and living in New Zealand.
How does ENZ’s work with education agencies fit with the work of other government agencies?
ENZ has a contributary role in managing risks and growth in the international education industry but is not a regulatory body. The ENZRA programme is separate to the regulatory work carried out in New Zealand’s international education industry by INZ and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
Although we don’t regulate the industry we set clear expectations regarding conduct that all Recognised Agencies must adhere to. The annual review process should provide higher assurance to education providers and prospective students in regard to the quality of assistance and advice they will receive from a Recognised Agency. However, ENZ does not provide any guarantees in this regard.
What are the benefits of being a Recognised Agency?
ENZ Recognised Agencies:
- have their details listed on www.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz. This is a ‘go to’ place for students expressing an interest in learning more about studying in New Zealand
- will gain exclusive access to MyStudy NZ tools to assist them in promoting New Zealand to prospective students.
- have access to ENZ staff as well as exclusive promotional collateral, training and development opportunities
- gain extended access to marketing resources in ENZ’s ‘Brand Lab’
- can use the ‘ENZ Recognised Agency’ logo (currently being re-designed) on their website and other promotional materials
- may be invited by ENZ to participate in selected events and campaigns.
How can I apply to become a Recognised Agency?
From August 2018, a range of current Recognised Agencies, and other education agencies will be invited to retain or gain their Recognised Agency status. If by 1 September 2018 you have not been invited and believe you meet the requirements to become a Recognised Agency, then you can apply to become one. To do this, you need to provide evidence that you meet all requirements (including providing copies of Unconditional Offers of Place for students you have successfully placed at a New Zealand provider) to email@example.com by 1 October 2018. All information and evidence will be crossed- referenced with other New Zealand government agencies, with the final decision resting with ENZ.
The list of Recognised Agencies will be fully updated on the Study in New Zealand website on 1 November 2018.
Do all Student Visa applications earn points?
The focus of the ENZRA programme is on attracting new students. Therefore points are only awarded the first time a student is approved a student visa (or a Visitor’s Visa for courses 3 months and under) and enters New Zealand. Students can only earn points once, no points are earned for subsequent years of study in New Zealand.
I am a current ENZ Recognised Agency. Can I retain my Recognised Agency status?
It is anticipated that many current Recognised Agencies will retain their status. All current Recognised Agencies will receive an email in the week of 13 August 2018, updating them on their status in the new Recognised Agency programme.
Any current Recognised Agencies that have not shown the ability to meet the outlined points target and/or approval rate percentage for the country they operate in will be removed from the programme and from the Study in New Zealand website on 1 November 2018.
Will being an ENZ Recognised Agency help my agency get visas processed faster?
No. Good quality agencies should generally not have any difficulty getting visas processed in a realistic time frame.
If I am an ENZ Recognised Agency, can I say that I am accredited by the New Zealand government?
No. The New Zealand government does not accredit agencies.
If I lose my Recognised Agency status, can ENZ still help me promote New Zealand to students?
Yes. Education agencies will still have access to ENZ’s Brand Lab. We’re also rebuilding our online training portal which will provide the latest ENZ news and information to agencies globally. Specific training modules will be designed to suit the needs of agencies in a range of countries so we can continue positive relationships with quality agencies even if they aren’t Recognised Agencies.
How can I get my agency listed on your Study in New Zealand website?
Only Recognised Agencies are listed on the Study in New Zealand website. Agencies cannot request a listing on our website if they are not a Recognised Agency.
How can I find New Zealand education providers to work with?
Visit www.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz and search our education listings for institutions and schools. You can search by institution or school type or by the region of New Zealand you are interested in.
Can education agencies from any country become a Recognised Agency?
Yes, as long as they meet the three core standards outlined above. Education agencies based in New Zealand will also need to have a permanent Licensed Immigration Adviser within their agency to hold Recognised Agency status.
I am a Recognised Agency and my agency has two offices, one in my home country and one in New Zealand. What address will be listed on the Study in New Zealand website?
As the Recognised Agency programme is primarily designed to engage with education Agencies outside of New Zealand, your offshore address will be listed.
I am a Recognised Agency and my agency engages with students across a range of countries. What, country- specific points target applies to my agency?
Our research indicates that most agencies get the majority of prospective students from one country even if they promote themselves across a range of countries. On that basis, education agencies will need to meet the points target and minimum approval rate for the country they get the majority of their students from.
Can I become a Recognised Agency if I am a Licensed Immigration Adviser (LIA)?
Yes, LIAs can apply to become a Recognised Agency.
What’s the difference between a Recognised Agency and a LIA?
Recognised Agencies can only give advice on student visa applications, whereas a LIA is licensed to give immigration advice about all visa types. LIAs are regulated by the Immigration Advisors Authority (more information can be found at www.iaa.govt.nz).
Although it’s possible to be both a Recognised Agency and a LIA, any agencies that are not a LIA can only give advice on Student Visa applications, and only if they are based outside New Zealand.
Why are Recognised Agencies in New Zealand required to have a Licensed Immigration Adviser employed in their company?
The Recognised Agency programme is broadly designed to engage with education agencies based outside New Zealand. The requirement for New Zealand-based education agencies to have a LIA within their business was made in agreement with the Immigration Advisers Authority.
The Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 rules require that no person can provide immigration advice unless they are a LIA or are not required to be licensed. However, the Act excuses people outside New Zealand if they are only providing advice about student visas. For this reason, education agencies based outside New Zealand are exempt but those residing in New Zealand are not.
Recognised Agencies are expected to provide prospective students with all the information about studying in New Zealand, which includes advice on how to apply for a student visa. New Zealand-based education agencies cannot give this desired level of immigration advice about student visas without breaching their obligations under the Act.
I’m a current Recognised Agency in New Zealand but there aren’t any Licensed Immigration Advisors in our business. I also have an office in another country. How can I maintain my current status?
You need to ensure that you are meeting your obligations under the Immigration Advisors Act. You’ll also still need to meet the country specific points target and approval rate in the overseas country you are based in. Only your international address will be listed on the Study in New Zealand website.
What’s the difference between a Recognised Agency and other education agencies offshore?
Recognised Agencies have met the three core standards of the ENZRA programme. This reflects their commitment to the New Zealand international education industry as advocates of New Zealand as a study destination. By becoming a Recognised Agency, they have affirmed their commitment to the London Statement and ongoing recruitment of high-value students to New Zealand to study.
Can I keep working with education agencies which are not Recognised Agencies?
Yes, there is no restriction or regulation around which education providers work with as long as the provider is meeting its obligations under the NZQA Code of Practice. However, providers should be aware that ENZ will be better placed to provide advice about Recognised Agencies.
Can the education agencies I use obtain Recognised Agency status?
Yes. However, they need to be able to show their ability to meet the country-specific objectives for the country they operate in and other requirements outlined above.
ENZ will be reviewing ENZRAs’ performance annually following the annual review period from 1 November to 31 October. Education agencies that don’t meet the three core objectives in one year will have the opportunity to apply again the following year.
Can I be confident I will meet my Code of Conduct obligations regarding agencies if I decide to work with an ENZ Recognised Agency?
While Recognised Agencies have confirmed their commitment to the London Statement and agreed to make sure that all documentation provided in an application to INZ is genuine and accurate, working with a Recognised Agency does not stop an education provider from having to meet its own obligations under the NZQA Code of Practice.
Can I expect Recognised Agencies to work with me if I approach them?
All ENZ Recognised Agencies are listed on www.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz and have the right to choose which providers they do business with. If you need help forming a relationship with an ENZRA, please contact ENZ for advice.
Will ENZ share information about unethical or unlawful ENZRAs?
Any known concerns about a Recognised Agency will be reviewed, and, if necessary, Recognised Agencies will be removed from the programme and Study in New Zealand website. Recognised Agencies are also required to take the upmost care to ensure any information and documentation supplied to INZ on behalf of their student is genuine and correct.
ENZ is more restricted in its ability to provide information regarding education agencies that are not Recognised. Providers should contact INZ for more information.
Concerns about the conduct of any Recognised Agency can be sent to this address for further review: firstname.lastname@example.org
How will ENZ’s work with agencies benefit me?
Recognised Agencies receive more interaction and engagement with ENZ. By making more training and resources available to them, Recognised Agencies will be better positioned to promote New Zealand as a study destination in a more knowledgeable and confident way. ENZ can also link providers with agencies which may be able to assist in fulfilling the objectives of a particular role or project.
How does ENZ see the value and role of education agencies to New Zealand’s international education sector? Are we investing in them or moving away from them?
ENZ appreciates the value of quality education agencies to the New Zealand international education industry. Agencies form a critical recruitment channel for many education providers seeking to attract internationals students. The vast majority of agencies are promoting New Zealand ethically, and a number of these stand out because they send many quality students to New Zealand. These highly successful agencies are the ones ENZ is keen to work with more closely for the benefit of education providers. ENZ is actively seeking to increase the way it engages with, and assists, good agencies to promote and market New Zealand. It is doing this by developing a comprehensive, reliable and relevant source of knowledge about New Zealand that enables education providers to work with agencies to promote their courses.