Diversifying International Education

Our goal is to help create a resilient international education sector through innovative products, services and modes of delivery.

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Why explore diversification?

New Zealand’s international education (IE) sector has been heavily reliant on traditional models of inbound student mobility. This makes the sector vulnerable to disruptions such as COVID-19.

In addition, the workplace and the classroom of the future will be very different to the past. Employers will need staff with different skills, and learners will need to be ready for a changing work environment.

To ensure the IE sector is sustainable, we need to design new ways of learning that respond to these disruptions.

The International Education Strategy 2018-2030 sets out a goal that:

The international education sector flourishes through diversification of markets, people flows and innovative products and services.

The government’s Strategic Recovery Plan for International Education gave additional urgency to this goal and tasked ENZ with leading this stream of work.

ENZ is working with education providers, learners, international institutions and other Government Agencies to design new ways of learning that meet the needs of current and future learners, based on New Zealand’s unique competitive advantages.

 

"We must show the next generation that we are listening, and that we have heard them.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
NZ Voluntary National Review 2019, on Sustainable Development Goals

FAQs

No, we are not trying to replace traditional mobility programmes. The diversifying products and services programme is just one element of the Recovery Plan. Another ENZ workstream, Early Return of Students, is working to rebuild the traditional in-bound model.

COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the sector and has accelerated both the need and opportunity for diversification. However, the sector had recognised the need for change well before COVID. This is reflected in the 2018 NZ International Education Strategy, which sets out a goal that “The international education sector flourishes through diversification of markets, people flows and innovative products and services.”

The government has mandated that ENZ pursue greater resilience through diversification. New Zealand’s international education (IE) sector has been heavily reliant on a few markets and on traditional models of inbound student mobility. This makes the sector vulnerable to disruptions such as COVID-19, as well as increasing competition and changes in the future of study and work.

At the same time, learners’ needs are also rapidly changing. The workplace and the classroom of the future will both be significantly different to that of the past. Employers will need staff with different skills, and learners will need to be ready for this changing work environment. This project is about ensuring the sustainability of international education and the delivery of profound benefits to NZ at the same time.

The diversifying products and services programme is just one element of the government’s Recovery Plan. Another ENZ workstream, Early Return of Students, is working to rebuild the traditional in-bound model. However, the sector will not return to what it was before COVID-19. For the long-term sustainability of the sector, we need to explore diverse options collaboratively.

ENZ acknowledges that the delivery of IE comes from the sector, and therefore collaboration and co-creation are essential. ENZ's role is to enable and support, bringing together voices and collaborators from across the system (including learners). We aim to identify and remove barriers to innovation, and to identify and highlight examples of success to gain broad support.