Get informed.


Stay up to date with relevant education and career news from New Zealand and the world.

Get informed.

Stay up to date with relevant education and career news from New Zealand and the world.

Choose New Zealand opens its first Indian office in Kottayam, Kerala

Choose New Zealand, a leading brand helping international students and immigrants in New Zealand, opened its first Indian office in Kottayam, Kerala, on the 6th January 2019.

Kottayam is the administrative capital of Kottayam district located in south-west Kerala. It is one of the main centres of literature and hence known as the "Land of Letters". Choose New Zealand Kottayam office will work closely with the Choose New Zealand head office in New Zealand to offer high-quality services to students and clients in Kottayam and nearby regions in Karela.

During the opening ceremony, the office was officially inaugurated by Former Chief Minister of Kerala, Shri Ommen Chandy, through a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by the lighting of the lamp. Many people from neighbouring areas, as well as various community leaders and politicians of Kerala, gathered to witness the inauguration.

The new office has been busy with handling enquiries from new clients since its opening. Rajin Kumar, General Manager of the Kottayam office, commented that he will work with his team to build their reputation for excellence among local clients who are seeking to realise their dreams in New Zealand.

The Choose New Zealand Kottayam office is in Koshy’s Arcade on Good Shepherd Street, near the famous DC Books. It opens from 9 am to 6 pm, Monday to Friday and 9 am to 2 pm on Saturday.

More contact details can be found on the links below:
Choose New Zealand Kottayam Facebook Page:

High demand for study abroad in Sri Lanka

A recent article in the ICEF Monitor talks about how income growth in Sri Lanka continues to drive demand for study abroad (click here to read). Even with the high income and GDP growth, the supply-demand gap is still big, which is making more Sri Lankan students look for opportunities overseas. In New Zealand, Sri Lanka was the 13th  on the 2015 Student Visa approval, contributing 549 students with a big growth from 301 in 2014. We think this number will continue to grow in the near future. Novo and Choose New Zealand are watching the trend closely and will be developing marketing strategies to help our clients to step into this emerging market. 

The state of international student mobility in 2015

As you read this, close to five million students are studying outside their home countries, more than double in 2000 and more than triple the number in 1990. Higher education is now open to the masses. Today, two million students are engaged in language travel, of whom roughly two-thirds study English. China and India are in the top 10 most powerful economies in the world and South Korea in the top 15. Now consider their contributions to international student mobility: China, India, and South Korea are the world’s leading sources of international students. One of every six internationally mobile students is now from China, and together China, India, and South Korea account for more than a quarter of all students studying outside their home countries. International educators are being encouraged to diversify their international enrolments. African countries are struggling to meet demand for higher education as their youth populations swell and unemployment abounds. According to UNESCO, just under 50,000 Nigerian students studied abroad in 2012. Latin American markets are also being viewed with great interest due to rising youth populations, in 2011, 20% of the total population of Latin America and the Caribbean was between the ages of 15 and 24 – that’s 106 million people. Trends will see Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Indonesia posting substantive increases in outbound post-graduates. Read the full article here.

Who’s the best in English? Latin America improving

Government-backed initiatives to improve English proficiency in Latin America are paying off as the region improves its results in the latest English Proficiency Index from EF. Worldwide, however, Europe still claims the highest level of English as a second language. Worldwide English proficiency is becoming less tied with the UK or the US and is also less associated with the elite classes. Read more here.

What do STEM students want? Education, work and adventure

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students are driven to study overseas by employability, access to better quality education and the promise of adventure. Their motivations to study internationally were looking at better education opportunities alongside analysis of each country’s policy on post-study work. Accessing job opportunities in the country where they are studying was the second biggest driver and looking for adventure was the third. Read the full article here.

2015 Agent Barometer survey: student concerns + growing impact of online

The Agent Barometer is the most comprehensive survey of education agents regarding their perspectives on demand for international education around the world; challenges and barriers relating to student mobility; and the most effective institutional marketing tactics. This is the ninth year in a row the survey has run, and it now provides a wealth of multi-year trend data. The 2015 survey ran for three weeks during October, with 1,671 agents from 110 countries responding. Regarding the number of student’s agents said they place in education institutions on an annual basis:

33% said they place fewer than 50 students
22% place between 51 and 100 students
19% place between 101 and 200
27% place more than 200

The most common type of study for which agents recruit is language courses (80%), with undergraduate next (77%) and post-graduate right behind with (74%). Next are MBA programmes and foundation courses (62% each). Over half of agents said they recruit for vocational programmes (51%), secondary/high school (54%), certificate/foundation courses (54%), pre-masters/post-graduate qualifying programmes (55%), and diplomas (57%). Agents think they will refer more students in the next 12 months than the previous 12, especially to the following countries: the US, Canada (79%), New Zealand (78%), Australia (77%), the UK (74%). New Zealand, meanwhile, had a jump this year, rising from 35% of agents rating it “very attractive” in 2014 to 45% this year. Overall, New Zealand was the sixth-most-attractive destination for 2015 (85% “very attractive” or “attractive”). Read full article here.

Five ways to fine-tune your marketing this year

As we turn the corner into the last months of 2015, it is a good time to look at the marketing strategies employed over the past year and see what worked and what didn’t. Novo education are here to help, so feel free to send enquiries through to us at info@...
Here are five tips from ICEF monitor (read article here):

1. Put some fresh eyes on your website

Even if those fresh eyes are yours, take a step back, and look at the homepage and other top-level landing pages. Don’t focus so much on what’s wrong; rather, think about the goals you have for your website. How does your website connect to your marketing and recruitment effort? What does it need to do for prospective students, current students, or any other key audiences you are trying to reach?

Generally speaking, a website works if it:

Conveys an attractive brand image;
Spotlights the school or agent’s strengths;
Quickly and easily answers students’ most important questions.

The homepage’s purpose is to welcome the visitor. Remember, less is often more. Is it easy and warm like a reception would be? Foes it answer students questions:

How can I talk to someone about whether I’d feel at home here?
What can I study here?
Can you show me proof this school is worth my investment?
Can I see what other people have said about studying here – can I talk to them?
Will studying here help me get the job I want?
What do I need to do – and when – to have the best chance of getting accepted here?

2. Think about new ways to use video

As we have noted previously, Forrester Research’s Dr. James McQuivey estimates that one minute of video has as much value as 1.8 million words. Another consideration is language: if a main priority market is China, it’s important to have a video delivered in Chinese and on a platform that Chinese viewers can reach (YouTube, for example, is still blocked in China).

3. How are you doing on mobile?

We won’t spend much time talking about how important optimising a website for mobile viewing is, because everyone knows that students are increasingly using their mobile devices for everything. However, we will note that despite all the stats that vividly demonstrate this trend, there are many sites that are still not mobile-ready.

4. Never underestimate the power of a good testimonial

It is a great thing to have a solid bunch of student and alumni testimonials, but even better if each testimonial serves a specific function. Each testimonial packs a punch so it’s better to spread them out over the pages of a site rather than plunking them all down in one spot.

5. Learn some new Facebook moves

In short, it is now very difficult to reach a target audience on Facebook unless you pay for the message by sponsoring it (aka “boosting” it). The good news is, boosting Facebook posts allows you to experiment with messaging and audience, and over time one does end up with a good sense of what content resonates and which falls flat. Beyond boosting, there are other ways to stimulate engagement. Do you know all the tabs and functions you can add to your Facebook page? Not everyone does. And how about built-in calls-to-action?

Original article here.

The team here at Novo Education are specifically here to help you with this sort of thing so do get in touch to find out more

The business case for face-to-face

Our world is hyper-wired and it seems we are always present on one digital platform or another. But while virtual communication is certainly efficient – not to mention convenient and inexpensive – research shows that we cannot solely rely on it as a tool to communicate. Face-to-face meetings may require a greater investment in the short term, but they are powerful catalysts for establishing, deepening, and maintaining key relationships. The relatively intense eye contact present in face-to-face meetings also helps participants to build trust and connection – crucial foundations for successful long-term relationships. Study abroad is a big decision and a significant investment, so students need to be sure they can trust the information given to them about schools. Recruiting international students similarly involves a complex set of decisions and processes and relies on strong working relationships between trusted partners, including educators and agents. Such trust and personal connection can be difficult to establish though virtual and/or digital means alone. Which is exactly what the team understand and do here at Novo Education. Read article here

Bangladesh’s demand for higher education

Bangladesh is one of the world’s most densely populated countries. Currently the eighth-largest state by population, Bangladesh is home to more than 160 million people. It is bordered by India to the west, north, and east, and Burma to the southeast. Most Bangladeshis are Muslims and the official language is Bengali. The unofficial second language, however, is English, and it is widely used in higher education as the language of instruction at both private and public institutions. The Bangladeshi economy has begun to transform itself over the past decade, growing at the rate of 5% on average. 34% of Bangladeshis are aged 15 or younger and it is forecast there is going to be a huge increase on local and international educational opportunities for this youth. Orginal article here

Ukraine a changing market

The ICEF published an update on Ukraine focused on an ambitious package of higher education reforms as well as how the country’s education system is operating under the current political and military crisis. To see another perspective the article has video excerpts from two recent interviews with agents that have a long experience in the market. In summary the two videos discuss the onset of the undeclared military conflict with Russia in early 2014 which resulted in the study abroad market in Ukraine to shift abruptly. In particular, students began to demonstrate a distinct preference for more affordable destinations. They also speak about the focus on the youth market, and on summer programmes in particular. Parents are more focused on study abroad programs because the situation in the Ukraine is very unstable and they are not sure what will be tomorrow. It was noted an increase in inquiries for some destinations, such as Canada, that offer stronger prospects for post-study work or even migration after graduation.

The crisis in Spain is “getting better”

The Pie News published an article relating the optimism and air of positivity that is now prevalent in Spain. Things seem to be going well and international education is picking up with this. Watch this Spanish space. 

Russia is developing its international student recruitment

The Russian government is moving to close a larger number of (mostly private) institutions that are seen as low-quality or underperforming providers. The number of closures for 2015 has been projected to affect as many as 100 institutions. At the same time, Russia is continuing with a scheme known as the “5/100 initiative“, a multi-year project, initiated in 2012, to boost the global competitiveness of Russian universities. The plan calls for at least five Russian universities to be ranked among the top 100 institutions in the world by 2020. Read the full article

Universities in Canada want to increase their outbound international education

The Pie News recorded a student quoting that the international experience is a “transformative” one that “too few Canadian students” have. Studying and working abroad transforms Canadian students into global citizens, helping them develop inter-cultural awareness, adaptability and problem-solving skills. The most popular study destinations for Canadians are currently the UK, Australia, France, Germany and the US. Let’s get New Zealand up there on their list. Read original article here

90% of students really want to know about employment

In the 2015/16 QS World University Rankings survey, “Getting a job when I graduate” was chosen by 90% of students as a key consideration in their decision-making for higher-education. Students are looking beyond current university rankings when selecting a school, it is employability and employment outcomes that are primary considerations. 50% of responding students chose “employer reputation” as “most important” and 47% chose “employment rate.” In comparison, 28% chose research and 16% chose academic reputation. Similarly, respondents said the top benefit of graduating from an internationally recognised institution was better employment prospects– ahead of better quality of education. Read the ICEF article

What is Growth hacking?

The ICEF published an article about growth hacking which is a new approach to marketing. It combines strategy with technical know-how to efficiently reach prospective customers. This approach emphasises growth and innovation and relies mainly on an expanding range of online marketing tools and channels. Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of ‘How do I get customers for my product?’ They use direct marketing, with an emphasis on quantitative measurement. 

Japanese government, the social sciences and humanities

A recent survey of Japanese university presidents found that 26 of 60 national universities with social science and humanities programmes intend to close those departments during the 2016 academic year or after. The closures are a direct response to an extraordinary request from the Japanese government that the universities take “active steps to abolish [social science and humanities departments] or to convert them to serve areas that better meet society’s needs.” Full article here

UK, work regulations, and what students want 17 September

The Pie News published an article recently about the UK’s traditional advantages as a study destination which have made it so popular among international students about to be undermined by stringent government policy. Britain has become much stricter on visas and has limited post-study work options. The global education solutions company’s annual student survey asked more than 45,500 students from 210 countries about their priorities in higher education and what they look for in a study destination. The most significant factors in a student’s decision to study in one country over another was the international recognition of qualifications and the quality of education compared to the student’s home country. The ability to work while studying and post-study work options were also named as important factors. Employability considerations topped this list, with 90% ranking ‘improving my future earning potential’ and ‘getting a job when I graduate’ as pressing concerns. Read the full article here

New Zealand Embassy to open in Colombia

The Government has announced that a new Embassy will open in Bogota, Colombia in 2016 as work to realise the potential of closer links with Latin America continues at Education New Zealand and in other government agencies. International education is seen as a key pillar in the ‘Export Markets’ work stream in the BGA and the action points for the sector are:

  • Expanding the Prime Minister’s Scholarships to Asia to include Prime Minister’s Scholarships to Latin America.
  • Using the International Education Growth Fund to support the growth of revenue from education and training delivered offshore.
  • Expanding the Education New Zealand Regional Partnership Programme to accelerate the growth of international education regionally.
  • Leveraging international alumni linkages to lift the skills of our international workforce in the public and private sector.
  • Reviewing ENZ to ensure it continues to be fit for purpose and is well placed to achieve the international education industry’s medium-term goals.

Pakistan to expand university access across country

Pakistan’s Higher Education Committee (HEC) has announced plans to open five new universities and 36 sub-campuses over the next three years. With approximately one third of Pakistanis yet to reach the age of 30, increased investment in higher education marks a significant step toward a more developed economy and a competitively skilled workforce. Already an economically stratified country, Pakistan suffers extreme rural poverty with some areas positioned amongst the poorest in the world according to the World Bank. In extending university access to Pakistan’s rural districts, it is hoped that more broadly based growth will be encouraged through education, culture, and innovation. Pakistan’s women stand particularly to gain with the promotion of women’s educational achievement and elimination of gender disparity identified as national priority areas. Pakistan’s Karachi Stock Index (the KSE-100) is ranked amongst the top 10 international markets based on performance over the past year. Read more here

The Brazilian market for English language learning

The Brazilian government has in recent years been working to boost higher education participation, increasing demand for overseas study, and extending the reach of STEM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths), all as part of wide-ranging development goals. The number of Brazilians studying abroad has increased by as much as 600% over the past decade. Brazil uses English extensively in business and advertising. 82% of respondents who have not learned English say they would do so in order to improve their employment prospects. Rising concerns with respect to the affordability of study abroad, appear to be opening new opportunities for foreign providers to deliver programmes within the country as well. Read the original article here

Vietnam’s licensing scheme “all bark and no bite”

After Ho Chi Minh city, Hanoi is the second largest hub for outbound students in Vietnam, a growing student source market. The Department of Education and Training in Hanoi has released a list of 200 agencies that have undergone the government’s licensing programme, which includes passing a test. There are still 3,300 agents operating erroneously.The government wants to shut them down but they can’t because they don’t have enough resources, Kenneth Cooper, co-founder of Access American Education says. Vietnam is increasingly becoming a fruitful market for student recruiters keen to diversify campus nationalities. The country has seen demand boom in the past decade, it’s ultimately the responsibility of institutions that work with agents to screen them properly, stay in touch with them and cultivate the relationship so they know what’s going on. Read more here

The emerging markets

According to an article in The Pie News, Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia and Nigeria are the top four emerging markets to watch over the next three years. A study by World Education Services, combined quantative and qualitative survey data to identify markets expected to see strong growth in the coming years. For Brazil, the increase was as high as 51%, while Vietnam, Nigeria and Indonesia saw respective increases of 26%, 21% and 14%. An effective social media strategy is “key” for institutions with Facebook users expected to reach almost 100 million by 2018.

South Africa’s language schools face declining enrolment due to immigration policy

An article in the ICEF related that South Africa has emerged as an increasingly popular regional and global destination for students in recent years, due to its appeal as a “stepping stone towards global mobility”. However, due to a May 2014 amendment to the Immigration Act, study visas are no longer being issued for students enrolled at English language schools in the country. The early indications are that the policy change has had a profound impact on enrolment already in 2015 and that student numbers are down sharply this year. 

From the field: Recruiting in Thailand

Thailand has seen a significant expansion of its higher education system over the past decades and a majority of secondary school graduates. University qualifications have become so common that they are now necessary. Along with its competitive domestic job market, Thailand’s political situation is another key factor in shaping demand for study abroad. The latest estimates have it that about 27,000 Thai students study abroad each year. Read more here.

Chinese universities increasingly forced to compete for students

Higher education in China has undergone a dramatic expansion over the last two decades. There were reliably more students chasing university admission than there were seats available. Under China’s domestic university recruitment system, quotas for enrolment are determined by central authorities. Do well on the entrance exams and the dream of attending a top university is within reach. But if you miss the mark on exam day, your chances are slim. You can read more from ICEF here.

A survey published in the ICEF, of US high school students has some interesting insights into how students use digital channels, including social media, to discover, learn about, and engage with universities and colleges. Today’s "digital natives" the report adds, are sophisticated and experienced researchers and they come with high expectations particularly with respect to fast and personalised responses from any institutions they contact. Only about half of students were interested in ranking information for the schools they were considering. What was more important was basic information about student life and programmes. The majority said that they used social media to further inform their choices after that initial discovery process. 75% said they were interested in engagement via social media but the students wanted to initiate the conversation. Students use these tools to ask, ‘Are the students there like me? Will they like me? Will I like them?’

Australia and the streamlined visa process system

In an article by The Pie News, education agents have spoken out against Australia’s Streamlined Visa Processing system that was introduced in 2012. They have been saying it is neither faster nor more dependable for visa issuance. The system will be scrapped starting next year and agents have said that the system has created a have and have not culture in Australian education and has failed to prevent illegal course-hopping which has resulted in slower admission and visa processes.

Nigeria and international education

The ICEF published an article about Nigeria, which has a rapidly expanding middle class, and total tertiary enrolment projected to double by 2024. This means that the country remains a key emerging market for international education. UNESCO reports more than 50,000 studied abroad in 2012. Most of these students choose the UK and the US.

Vietnam: it’s potential and challenges

Vietnam is increasingly recognised as an important emerging market for international education. The Ministry of Education and Training reports that 125,000 Vietnamese students studied abroad in 2013. See the original article here with a video interview that highlights some of the practical challenges for Vietnamese students planning to study abroad, particularly with respect to visa requirements.

Language Learning in the Digital Age

Recently The Pie News had an article regarding McGraw-Hill Education and how they are expanding their digital learning with bussu, the largest social network for language learning, now with over 55 million users. bussu will provide a base of world-wide consumers while McGraw-Hill Eduation will help the language learning platform develop. The platform provides both free and paid-for courses in 12 different languages and gives learners the opportunity to directly interact with native speakers.

Blended Learning

A recent article in ICEF discusses the benefits of using online learning with the traditional face-to-face approach. This is referred to as “blended learning” and is becoming prominent in higher education. One in ten higher education students in the US were taking courses exclusively online as of 2012 and 13.3% were combining online and face-to-face classes. A blog post in The Chronicle of Higher Education outlined three major online trends that will figure into the future of higher education:

  1. Rapid expansion of free online courses made accessible and available to everyone
  2. Growth in paid online courses for niche graduate programmes
  3. Already well underway –the expansion and integration of online and digital learning technologies within face-to-face undergraduate programmes

Colombia and English

The ICEF article wrote that by 2019 Colombia aims to be Bilingual and government funding for the upcoming years is expected to increase. English is the second most prevalent language in Colombia but is spoken by only 4.1% of the population (48.32 million). From the employers perspective, English is considered an essential “must-have” skill. At the moment the main areas of concern are:

  • In-service teacher training and coaching
  • Pedagogical support
  • Evaluation and assessment
  • Institutional capacity building

How can New Zealand Education step-in?

UK, Further Education students and their work rights

The British government confirmed new rules that will eliminate the opportunity for further education students from outside the European Union to work part-time during their studies.

  • From 3 August 2015, students will lose the right to work for up to 10 hours per week (and full-time between semesters)
  • From 12 November 2015, further education students will not be permitted to apply for a work visa at the conclusion of their studies unless they first leave the country
  • From 2 November, the length of further education visas will be reduced from three years to two

You can read more here

In the eyes of students institution rankings = employability

A recent article in Pie News about global rankings and rankings actually meant for students. The surveyed group covered 19 countries. Students felt that rankings do not reflect quality but rather employability, and use the rankings to narrow down their search at the early stages of their decision making process. They suggested that institutions should have banners of their most prominent alumni and clearer methodology across how the rankings are given and what they mean. 

Ireland introduces reforms to student immigration system

The Irish government has announced plans to proceed this year with major reforms to the country’s student immigration system. As many as ten private colleges closed in Ireland in 2014, displacing more than 3,000 students and raising concerns about “rogue” education providers. Several more schools have closed in the first half of 2015 and those “providers of concern” were found to have a number of characteristics in common:

  • They primarily enrolled non-European Economic Area (EEA) students;
  • The fees they charged were “unsustainably low” and “clearly inadequate to provide for the delivery of a high-quality programme;”
  • Their programmes were not accredited within Ireland;
  • They operated without adequate learner protection arrangements, and, in particular, without any provisions to protect students financially in the event of school closure.

Read more here. 

What works offline doesn’t work online

Online learning requires new pedagogy and social strategies in order to attract and engage students. Joseph Noble states that  ‘gamification’ is key to engaging students, using mobile learning as a “tutor in your pocket” and that “using digital content needs to be as easy as falling out of bed.” Read the full article here. 

Australia’s accommodation shortage

Insufficient and costly purpose-built student accommodation may be putting Australia at a competitive disadvantage. Concerns were raised by the Council of International Students of Australia about the quality and affordability of student accommodation for international students. Read more here. 

Record-Level students in English-medium schools

The recent article in Pie News wrote about the number of students studying at English-medium international schools globally reaching a record-level four million students last month, according to the International School Consultancy.

Heard of the Enrolment Funnel? We have.

ICEF published an informative article about the enrolment funnel, and we wanted to summarise and share it. The “stealth applicant” was a term we enjoyed reading. This is a student that, due to technology, remains anonymous until the application. So, have you checked your funnel? (We can help you, it’s what we do). As the term suggests, the funnel is a way of imagining and managing the process of advancing students from a (relatively large) pool of prospects through several key “conversions,” such as enquiry, application, admission, and, if all goes to plan, enrolment. Here are the key suggestions:·      

  • Embrace the nuance. There is not just one funnel, there are many. 
  • Qualify prospects. The challenges of managing growing pools of prospects and enquiries. Measure interest and suitability at the earliest possible stage
  • Go for engagement. Funnel communications strategies should be designed to encourage and strengthen prospect engagement with the institution.
  • Use the data. Pretty self-explanatory.  

China survey reveals social status as a big motivation for studying abroad

According to a survey by China Daily improving social status is the number one motivator for Chinese students to study abroad. 61% said they wanted to obtain a diploma from a foreign school to boost their social standing, while 47% said they wanted to study abroad because they thought it would improve their employability after graduation, 43% said they wanted to study abroad to receive a better education than they would at home. Other reasons students gave for wanting to study abroad included broadening their horizons, seeking independence and avoiding the pressure of a Chinese education. Read the full article here

Latin America and the English Language

A recent article in The Pie News was about the demand for English Language Teaching across Latin America. They interviewed specifically Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru and Ecuador. It wrote that governments view the language as a tool to access the global economy and employers prioritise English as a skill. The report found that a lack of quality teachers is the largest barrier, teachers aren’t trained to teach English as a second language and often don’t speak English themselves. Chile was quoted saying their “major goal in the near future, apart from our education reform, is to focus on vocational training.” Apart from the above reasons listed the biggest common factor for learning English was employability. Read the full article here. 

New Zealand and Chile: Learning on the land

Thirty-two students from regional Chile are currently in New Zealand to learn more about New Zealand’s world-leading dairy and horticultural sector. “The students enjoy visiting local farms, learning to ride motorbikes and quad bikes, and learning new fencing skills. The biggest difference between farms in Chile and here is the scale of farming. In spite of New Zealand being a much smaller country, our farms are much bigger in terms of land area, the number of cows milked and the use of technology to improve production.” Read more here

Anti-marketing, a new approach

Imagine things from the point of view of a consumer. We have trained ourselves to ignore advertising and marketing messages, to tune them out, or at least to distrust them. At its core, anti-marketing is built around a couple of simple ideas:

  • Consumers are smart and empowered. They want honest and useful information, and they want you to respect their intelligence.
  • Everybody is selling something; be different. Be innovative and creative in order to draw the market to you.

Follow the four:

  1. “Be brief, be brilliant, and be gone.”
  2. Be honest, even painfully honest.
  3. Be unpredictable.
  4. Don’t promote, attract.

Read the full article here

New Zealand’s major business sectors seek bigger footprint in Asean

New Zealand's key business sectors ranging from dairy, food and tourism to the aviation industry are keen on further expansion into the Asean region, including Thailand. During a meeting in Auckland last week, Prime Minister John Key described Asean markets as fast-growing economies that offered huge opportunities. Tony Nowell, chairman of the Asean New Zealand Business Council, said “we are in discussion with senior officials about a special travel card to apply in Asean countries, similar to the Apec Business Travel Card, which [provides] businesspeople with streamlined access to participate and engage in trade and investment activities in Asean countries.” In January, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand began an alliance. Through this partnership, Singapore will be the aviation hub for Southeast Asian travellers coming to New Zealand. With this alliance, both airlines aim to increase their capacity between New Zealand and Singapore by up to 30 per cent year-around. Read the full article here.  

The human capital problem and alternative credentials

What are these alternative credentials, and how are they being used? Fewer and fewer students can afford the traditional option of studying. More and more young people want their education to be flexible, inexpensive and oriented toward job opportunities. Students of tomorrow, Dr Weise predicts, will design their own curricula and pair it with paid work, internships, opportunities abroad, certificates and mini degrees obtained online or from niche providers. The demand comes from recognising that prospective employers are seeking specific, demonstrable skills. Digital badges would become an important new currency for signalling personal achievement. Read more here.

Kenya and New Zealand

What is happening in Kenyan education? Well, the Number of students in Kenya’s universities is soaring and is up 28%. However the government has cut funding by 6% and this will make it difficult for universities to cater to the growing numbers of students. In Kenya the “unemployment crisis is a ticking bomb” and over 60% of the population is under 25. You cannot ignore that. A huge and significant population is restless. What can we do? Full article here.                                      

Agents and negative criticism

This article provides some insights about criticisms aimed at agents in the international education industry. It is written by Naveen Chopra, Chairman of The Chopras, one of India’s top study abroad agencies. He addresses the issue of the falling standards at universities and “the increasingly conspicuous role of third-party ‘agents’ in recruiting students as a concerning development.” However, agents provide an essential service to student clients, and indeed in many cases to the institutions they work with in helping frame and implement local strategies. 

The nature of international students

There are three bands, according to Naveen Chopra, in the article Agents and negative criticism.

The top strata are students:

  • from very wealthy families
  • intention is to gain the best education that money can buy
  • are looking for exposure
  • to broaden their mental horizons
  • tend to head back home after graduating or, the top performing ones might land jobs that they will take for a couple of years before heading back

In the second band fall students:

  • from middle to upper middle class families
  • have some pressure to work while studying to subsidise themselves
  • migration is the eventual aim
  • actively contribute to the larger issues of skill deficiencies in key sectors

The third band generally can be defined as the “grey market” band:

  • students from the lower socio-economic strata
  • agenda is to get into the country on a student visa
  • intention is to work full time during their academic year
  • to find a way to immigrate

The responsibility and strategy lies with a collaborative effort to assess the true quality, intent, financial capacity of applicants and to remember that international students are the future leaders of their countries.

Flights from Philippines to Auckland

Philippine Airline flights from Auckland to Manila will begin 1st of December, with a stopover in Cairns. This route will have 64,500 seats per year and be the first time the airline has ever operated in New Zealand.

International Business Etiquette

This is a very informative, and nice to look at Pikto-chart of different countries and their working and cultural “Do’s” and “Don’ts”. Worth checking out… here

On-site accommodation is something to consider

On the topic of Australia, ICEF has a great summary of the draft strategy for international education here. They highlight what Australia aims to do, and we wanted to note their effort to improve student accommodation, including the “construction of purpose-built accommodation for students.” This links to a recent article in the Herald, which shows that hostels are one way forward to help in providing accommodation for international students. Some Auckland colleges are already planning their on-site hostels. 

Students highly satisfied with studies in Australia – why do we care? Let us tell you…

Well, it’s good to know what others are doing and where they are lacking. We can work with them and learn from them, which is good for everyone. Reasons international students were choosing Australia included the reputation of their qualifications, quality of providers, of teaching and of research, the overall education system and personal safety. Getting work experience and feeling prepared to enter the workforce is a must, “it is ever more crucial to establish industry linkages”. So where can we pick up? Australian schools came in under international benchmarks for satisfaction on things like host friends, local orientation and meeting staff. Students were less happy about the cost of living, the ability to earn money, the cost of accommodation, and financial support. Read the article here

Marketing to the Millennials

The recent ICEF article highlights the importance of how education providers can market to the “Millennial” generation, a generation that lives online more than any other in history. They are aged between 13 – 24 multi-task, use a variety of channels and at a high speed. Marketing messages have to be catchy and quick. It’s important to remember young peoples need to belong to something, the article suggests sharing students experiencing life at the school. To understand their mind-sets use these questions as a checklist:

  • What are you giving me?
  • How will I fit in there?
  • What experiences will I have?

Then answer those questions in your marketing! Use role-models, a sense of accomplishment, fun and excitement, a spirit of adventure and make it shareable.

What’s-up in Thailand?

Education Minister Heng Swee Keat attended the 50th Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation Council Conference (6-7th May). The Conference was also attended by ministers from 10 other SEAMEO Member Countries, namely Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam. They will discuss educational cooperation in the Southeast Asia region. Full article here.

Let’s look at Malta

It’s good to know what others are doing, what they have got, and how / if we can work with them. Malta is up there with “having it”, as the ICEF article explains, with a 3.4% increase in student arrivals (2014) making it the world’s seventh most-popular destination. 

Tasty treats in the form of competitive pricing from Thai International Schools

There are 24 International schools for Pre-prep and Primary level in Thailand. Below are the comparative table of their tuition fees in 2015 (Note: the price is not included registration fee, entry fee or other non-tuition fees, the source has been updated in Jan 2015) And here are their 10 Top International schools (top three are: Harrow International School, Ruamrudee International School & Bangkok Patana School). (note links are in Thai)

Chile is coming over with bigger planes

Chile's LAN Airlines has launched the Dreamliner, from September 2015 the larger airplane will have nearly a third more capacity. It will be the first to fly daily across the Tasman and competition on flights to South America promises to bring down fares. Original article and related article.

Air New Zealand, Argentina and the Americas

The Air New Zealand flights to Buenos Aires, from December 2015, will add 95,000 extra seats per year. Recent figures show that visitor arrivals from Chile, Brazil and Argentina have increased 11% (Statistics New Zealand). Air New Zealand will share with Aerolineas on connecting services from Buenos Aires to Brazil. The airline is looking at flight paths in the future between Auckland and either Las Vegas, Houston or Chicago. Article here.

Some institutions we work with

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