Student experience and the International Education Strategy - Project 1: Introduction

Student Experience

Student experience and the International Education Strategy - Project 1: Introduction

Understand the International Education Strategy, with a focus on Goal 1: Education quality and student experience

YOU WILL LEARN

  • About the International Education Strategy
  • About the strategy’s focus on education quality and student experience
  • How focusing on student experience and wellbeing is good for business as well as good for students
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Beginner
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Introduction

Student experience and wellbeing are at the centre of the International Education Strategy.

The Strategy demonstrates the government’s commitment to giving all New Zealand’s international students a high-quality education and a positive experience.

$4.4 billion

International education’s contribution to the New Zealand economy in 2017
(based on the 2017 estimate of sector value available at time of publishing)

 

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Strategy goals

“A thriving and globally connected New Zealand through world-class education”

That’s the desired outcome of New Zealand’s International Education Strategy, which replaces the 2011 Leadership Statement for International Education.

The Strategy aims to create an environment where international education can thrive and provide economic, social and cultural benefits for all New Zealand.

It has three key goals, with specific actions to help deliver on each goal.

The goals are:

Goal 1: Delivering an excellent education and student experience

Goal 2: Achieving sustainable growth

Goal 3: Developing global citizens

This project focuses on Goal 1.   

Strategy Goals

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Measuring success

Goal 1 of the International Education Strategy, delivering an excellent education and student experience, sets out three ways to measure success.

These are:

  • International students receive a high-quality education

  • International students are welcome and safe

  • New Zealand delivers an excellent overall international student experience

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Key actions

A cross-agency action plan has been developed to help achieve the strategy’s three goals.

The action plan includes examples of the key actions government agencies will take to achieve each goal.

For Goal 1, key actions include:

  • Continue to improve the availability of clear, timely and customer-focused information about education and immigration to students and providers

  • Continue to rigorously monitor the quality of international education provision through programme monitoring, external evaluation and review and investigations, as necessary

  • Implement and monitor the Education New Zealand Recognised Agency Programme, which supports agents and agencies that work with students coming to New Zealand

  • Undertake an investigation into the exploitation of migrants and international students that will inform policy options to reduce exploitation of international students

  • Fund and support initiatives to enhance international student wellbeing

The sector can support Goal 1 by delivering high-quality education and an excellent student experience, and by demonstrating its support for student wellbeing.

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Ahead of the pack

What sets our International Education Strategy apart from competitor countries?

Firstly, it’s led by central government.

Secondly, it puts a strong focus on student experience.

Thirdly, it’s an all-of-government strategy, which means agencies must work together to achieve its objectives.

It’s a point of difference in international education for New Zealand to have a government-led strategy with student wellbeing at its centre.  

The strategy provides intent and accountability, which make us a more attractive education destination.

Extending to 2030, the strategy gives the industry a clear, long-term sense of direction.

125,392

The number of international students who gained a New Zealand education in 2017

 

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Where does the wellbeing strategy fit in?

The International Education Strategy is underpinned by the International Student Wellbeing Strategy.

Released in 2017, the International Student Wellbeing Strategy has four pillars: economic wellbeing, education, health and wellbeing, and inclusion.

It was developed with input from international students, education providers and community groups, who gave their view on the factors that would make the biggest difference to international students’ experiences in New Zealand.

The diagram below shows the International Student Wellbeing Strategy’s overarching strategy outcomes.

You can see the full strategy on the Ministry of Education website.

IS Wellbeing Strategy

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Where does the Code fit in?

The Education (Pastoral Care for International Students) Code of Practice sets out education providers’ responsibilities to ensure international students are well informed, safe and properly cared for. The Code is administered by NZQA.

The Code sends out a strong assurance to the sector and to students that New Zealand cares about international students’ wellbeing.

The International Education Strategy emphasises that the International Student Wellbeing objectives must be embedded in all our systems. This is important for all education providers, as well as for the central and local government agencies involved with international education.

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Good for students – and good for business

Providing good pastoral care isn’t just about meeting the compliance requirements.

By ensuring our students have a good experience, we deliver on our brand promise and ultimately make our industry more sustainable. Fulfilled students become lifelong advocates of New Zealand education.

Students and their families can be a powerful marketing force. When students have a great time living and studying in New Zealand, they want to tell the world about it.

The International Education Strategy acknowledges that everyone in the industry has an important part to play in delivering a New Zealand education that is of long term value.

By investing in a quality student experience, you’re increasing the likelihood that students and their families will recommend your institution, and encouraging students to stay in touch after graduation.

33,000

The number of New Zealand jobs supported by international education in 2017

 

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Preventing negative experiences

As an industry, we’re vulnerable to the impact of students having negative experiences in New Zealand.

Student exploitation is just one example. A single case of exploitation by an employer, education provider or agent has the potential to damage the reputation of the industry.

The International Education Strategy highlights the Government’s intention to reduce the likelihood of student exploitation.

The Strategy commits the Government to: addressing any quality issues quickly, efficiently and fairly; protecting students; and preserving New Zealand’s international reputation for high-quality education.

Preventing negative experiences is partly about having the right regulations, and partly about helping students to become as well prepared for life in New Zealand as early as possible.

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Example

One example of the way we can minimise harm to students is by giving accurate and useful messages around safety.

While New Zealand’s perception as a safe destination is important in our attraction activity, we can’t guarantee anyone’s safety.

But we can:

  • Give students relevant, practical advice about how to keep themselves and their possessions safe

  • Let students know about the emergency services and support services available if something goes wrong

  • Provide more context around the idea of safety. For example, we have safe food and safe air, and students’ money is safe in our banks

If you’re selling New Zealand as a safe destination, it’s important to set realistic expectations about safety to students and their families before arrival. It’s a task that shouldn’t just be left up to your institution’s student services team once students are on campus.

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Summary

  • Student experience and wellbeing is at the center of the International Education Strategy

  • New Zealand’s strategy is world-leading

  • Investing in the best possible student experience pays off because students and families become brand advocates

  • We can’t prevent all negative experiences, but we can minimise harm by providing students with easy access to information and support

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