Bringing the world to your school

Issue: Volume 95, Number 21

Posted: 21 November 2016
Reference #: 1H9d5W

For international students, studying here can be life-changing. It’s a chance for students to benefit from our quality education system, discover the New Zealand way of life and have experiences they will never forget.

For domestic students, an international programme is an opportunity to be exposed to new cultures, make new friendships and be better prepared for living and working in an increasingly globalised society.

For schools, international programmes enrich the delivery of The New Zealand Curriculum and bring in more funding to pay for services for both international and domestic students, which contributes to student outcomes.

Communities also benefit from the wide range of cultures that come to New Zealand for a ‘Kiwi experience’, as well as the money international students spend locally on goods and services, including homestays. As our fifth-largest export industry, international education contributes $2.85 billion a year to the economy and provides more than 30,000 jobs for New Zealanders.

Supporting international students

The strengthened Education Code of Practice 2016(external link) (Pastoral Care of International Students), which came into force in July, will help ensure international students studying in New Zealand receive the care and support they need in New Zealand. The updated Code includes the establishment of a dedicated disputes resolution scheme to protect international students’ interests. 


It’s important that the regulation of the international education sector continues to evolve and strengthen as the sector grows. New Zealand has an excellent reputation for offering a high-quality learning experience, great lifestyle opportunities and qualifications that provide skills for the future. International students become lifelong ambassadors for New Zealand when they return home.

Only education providers approved as signatories to the Code are allowed to enrol international students. You can learn more about regulations to support international students on the Ministry Of Education website(external link)

Seizing the opportunity

Many schools are already seizing the opportunity to develop their international programmes further. Education New Zealand’s most recent snapshot for primary and secondary schools, which shows international student trends, found that the number of international students in primary schools rose by 18 per cent from January to August 2015, and in secondary schools by 4 per cent.

Tuition fee income for primary schools rose by 6 per cent, and for secondary schools by 9 per cent.

Enrolment levels varied widely between regions. For primary schools, the four regions recording the largest percentage increases were Nelson (183 per cent), Wellington (37 per cent), Waikato (35 per cent) and Auckland (25 per cent).

For secondary schools, the largest percentage increases were seen in Marlborough (14 per cent), Manawatu-Whanganui (13 per cent), Hawke’s Bay and Auckland (both 8 per cent).

Education New Zealand has identified China, Korea, Thailand, Japan and Germany as key markets for primary and secondary schools.

If your school would like to develop an international programme, three questions for board of trustees to consider are:

  • Has a board member been given responsibility for the international portfolio?
  • Have you established how your international programme will benefit domestic students and improve student outcomes?
  • Have you decided what sets your school apart, and which market niche it could fill?

To find out more about the work of Education New Zealand, visit the Education New Zealand website(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 8:35 PM, 21 November 2016

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