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.

Office Hour Update

Following the change of Auckland's COVID Alert Level to Level 3, our office will be closed from 12 August 2020 until further notice. Our business is still operating, and all staff are working from home.

We are available online!

You can book a consultation with one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers online by clicking the "Book" button.

Please email info@choosenewzealand.com, call us at +64 9 520 4329, or message us via our website or Facebook Page if you wish to reach us. We are here to help you if you have any questions.

Stay safe and Kia kaha!

Gerome Garthwaite from UP Education visits CNZ

Great to catch up with Gerome Garthwaite, the International Sales Director of UP Education in our office last week. As the largest provider of career and industry-focused skills and qualifications in New Zealand, UP Education offers a range of unique and tailored learning environments for thousands of students across their 34 different campus locations. We are very excited to see UP's new programme development and looking forward to working even closer with them.

Alicia Su from NorthTec International visits CNZ

Great to host a meeting with Alicia Su fromNorthTec International. NorthTec offers high-quality programmes in Business, Information Systems, Construction Management, Nursing, etc. We are looking forward to having more students studying there.

Carol Allen from WITT visits CNZ

Great to have Carol Allen, the International Director of WITT - Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki visit us last Friday. Carol brought our team the updates of the popular programme, Graduate Diploma in Engineering (Highway), and several newly developed programmes. Choose New Zealand has worked with Carol and WITT closely in the past and will continue to help our students and clients thrive through WITT's excellent programmes.

Patrick Yeung from Lincoln University visits CNZ

Great to have Patrick Yeung, International Operations Coordinator of Lincoln University visiting us today. Our team was very excited to hear some of Lincoln's new programmes and how their online English study helped many students met the language requirement without IELTS. We are looking forward to helping more international students study at Lincoln, the New Zealand's leading agricultural university.

Update Essential skill work visa

Several of our clients have received letters from Immigration New Zealand regarding their Essential Skills Work Visa applications, requiring them to redo the “labour market test” to prove the unavailability of New Zealand workers for the position.

Your employer may be asked to confirm:

• Whether the job offer is still open to the applicant;
• Whether the terms and conditions of employment remain the same (eg. pay, hours of work)
• Whether the company has made anyone redundant or undergone redundancy consultations.

With respect to the “labour market test”, remember that the employer is expected to show that they want to recruit a New Zealander, and are hiring a migrant as a last resort. INZ will not accept an employer who simply wants to hire a migrant out of preference for that person.

If being asked by Immigration New Zealand to provide further evidence to show genuine attempts to show genuine attempts at recruiting kiwi workers, your employer should:

➤ Obtain a Skills Match Report from Work and Income for ANZSCO Level 4-5 positions

➤ Post new advertising for the position, and keep clear and accurate records of anyone who applies for the position (not compulsory, but highly recommended unless you can provide strong evidence in other ways)

➤ A letter from the employer explaining:
• Continued recent efforts to recruit New Zealanders (including during the lockdown period, if any)
• Why no new Zealanders are available
• The special skills needed for the job (employers may use their specialised knowledge of their particular industry to impress the case officer that ANZSCO alone is not a sufficient basis to judge the occupation’s skill level)
• Why no New Zealanders can be trained (extremely important for ANZSCO Skill Level 5 occupations!!! All employers are expected to make attempts to train unqualified workers for these positions.)

➤ Seek advice from industry bodies where available, eg. unions and professional associations

Do keep in mind that at a time when New Zealand’s unemployment rate is skyrocketing, any position offered to a non-New Zealander will attract extra scrutiny. It’s nothing to panic about, since skills shortages exist even during periods of high unemployment. However, do take extra care in preparing a strong application.

We highly recommend seeking professional help for Essential Skills Work Visas going forward in these troubled times.

Best of luck to all – keep safe, and keep yourselves employable!

(Please message us here or email us for more information: immigration@choosenewzealand.com )

Latest Update from Immigration New Zealand

Extending the deadline for applying for residence following an ITA

Immigration New Zealand understands that as a result of COVID-19, it has been difficult for individuals who have been invited to apply through the Skilled Migrant or Investor 2 categories to submit their applications within the required timeframe.

Normally, applicants have four months from when they are invited to apply to submit their application with all the required documents. However, during the COVID-19 lockdown some applicants found it hard to obtain all the documents necessary for their application or were otherwise unable to submit their application.

As a result, the Government has decided to extend the timeframe that applicants have to submit their application.
Individuals who were issued an Invitation to Apply between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 will now have an additional six months to submit their application.

This provides applicants with 10 months in total from the date they were invited to apply to submit their application. INZ believe this is sufficient time for individuals to obtain the necessary documents for their applications.

Due dates on PPI letters issued prior to New Zealand entering Alert Level 4 Lockdown, those issued from 14 May 2020 and requests for information

This provides offices with guidance around due dates on Potentially Prejudicial Information (PPI) letters that were sent to applicants prior to New Zealand entering Alert Level 4 Lockdown. It also provides guidance on due dates for any new PPI letters issued from the start of Alert Level 2 and for any new requests for information.

As a result of COVID-19, New Zealand entered Alert Level 4 lockdown at 11:59pm on 25 March 2020, followed by a period at Alert Level 3. Alert Level 2 commenced on 14 May 2020.
PPI sent prior to 25 March 2020

For applications where a PPI letter was sent prior to 25 March 20 20, please extend the due date until Friday 12 June 2020 (4 weeks after New Zealand entered Alert Level 2, allowing for the statutory holiday on 1 June 2020).
The purpose for this extension is to allow applicants sufficient time to obtain any required information, seek immigration advice where necessary and respond accordingly. Although some applicants may have been able to respond, or should be able to without further delay, allowing a consistent extension is fair, given many may have been affected in various ways by the lockdown (including difficulty accessing advice or support). Further extensions beyond this time can be considered on a case by case basis. Case officers should be reasonable when considering requests for further extensions, and should discuss this with their Technical Advisor if they are unsure.
While due dates will be extended, it is important to note that if an applicant is able to provide a full response before their due date is reached, case officers can look to make a decision on the application earlier upon agreement from the applicant or their representative.

New PPI sent on or after 14 May 2020

For applications where a PPI is sent on or after the commencement of Level 2 (i.e. 14 May 2020), please give the applicant 4 weeks to respond. Note this is longer than usual but it is to ensure that applicants are given a generous timeframe in light of unprecedented recent events to ensure they can obtain further information and seek immigration advice where necessary. If an applicant is able to provide a full response before their due date is reached, case officers can look to make a decision earlier upon agreement from the applicant or their representative.

Request for Information (RFI) sent on or after 14 May 2020

Please give a minimum of 10 working days for an applicant to respond to an RFI. Please also note 1 June 2020 is a public holiday when setting your response date.

Change in circumstances

Applicants, whether they are represented or not, remain obligated to inform INZ of any relevant fact, including any material change in circumstances that occurs after the application is made, if it may affect the decision on the application.

Communication

The new due date extension will be communicated to all Licenced Immigration Advisers (LIA) and lawyers via proactive communications from National Office. However, with individual cases that are not represented by an LIA or lawyer, case officers are to make contact via email with these applicants to advise of the new due date and invite them to provide updated information if their circumstances have changed materially since the PPI was first sent. Information around new PPI due dates will also be included in the Frequently Asked Questions section available on the INZ website. Please note this is not a long term change to INZ’s PPI process and that PPI timeframes will return to normal in due course.

This advice will be reviewed at the end of June 2020 and further advice may be issued.

Choose New Zealand immigration adviser interviewed by RNZ

After started a petition calling New Zealand government to offer emergency unemployment benefit for redundant migrant workers, Choose New Zealand's immigration adviser, Alain Koetsier was interviewed by a major news outlet to shine light on this vital issue. We'll always advocate for our clients' well-being in any way we can!

Alain's interview here: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/415473/covid-19-jobless-immigrants-face-poverty-deportation-exploitation-immigration-adviser?

You can find Alain's petition here: https://www.change.org/p/minister-for-social-development-hon-carmel-sepuloni-emergency-unemployment-benefit-for-redundant-migrant-workers?

Covid-19 Update Six - Important Information

Important Information

ONSHORE STUDENTS: I work part-time in an essential service, and would like to work full-time now. What do I do?

If you work in an essential service as a student, your employer may request a variation of conditions allowing you to work full-time during Level 3 and 4 and for six weeks after we move down from those levels. They may use the online form on the INZ website, but should ensure they complete it carefully or your request may be denied.

If you intend to work full-time during your studies, we encourage you to discuss this with your education provider to ensure you continue to meet the requirements of your study.

If you hold an interim student visa now, you may not request a variation of conditions.

ONSHORE STUDENTS: I work part-time in healthcare, can I now work full-time?

If you were employed in an essential health worker role (including aged residential care) on 3 April 2020, you will be able to work more than 20 hours for the period 3 April 2020 to 3 July 2020 in order to support the public health response to COVID-19. This includes aged residential care.

This includes interim student visa holders as well.

ONSHORE STUDENTS: My student visa was going to expire between 2 April and 9 July, but has now been extended until 25 September, but I need to change courses before then. What does this mean?

While the visa extension scheme has been good news for many, it means that students cannot expect to receive interim open student visas allowing them to start a new course.

If you were expecting to start a new course on an open student visa in the interim and did not receive one, you many have to defer your course start date until your new student visa is processed. The good news is that INZ is now prioritising onshore student visa applications, so you can expect a decision in good time.

All visa holders may check their current visa status using INZ's visa verification service.

OFFSHORE STUDENTS: I have a valid student visa and my course is starting soon, can I come to New Zealand?

No. You will need to wait until the New Zealand government re-open the border to temporary visa holders. Exceptions can be made in truly special circumstances, but we do not expect most students will meet the criteria.

If this delay causes you to miss your course start date, your education provider will need to issue you a new offer of place with a later course start date. They will need to inform INZ of this.

OFFSHORE STUDENTS: My student visa requires me to arrive in New Zealand before a certain date, and due to the travel ban I cannot. What should I do?

INZ is still discussing whether or not they will defer latest entry dates on current visas. While we expect they will do so, there is no confirmation on the matter as of this date. 

OFFSHORE STUDENTS: I applied for a student visa and am still waiting for a decision. When can I expect one?

Currently, INZ is not prioritising offshore student visa applications. As its offices remain closed until further notice, we cannot provide any information on when your visa will be decided.

Again, keep in mind that if you miss your course start date you will need to obtain a new offer of place from your provider and inform INZ of the situation.

ALL STUDENTS: I cannot afford my tuition fees or living expenses - can I still get a student visa?

For your tuition fees, you may discuss this matter with your provider and see if you can come to an arrangement. INZ will assess your circumstances on a case-by-base basis.

For your living expenses, you must have access to $15,000 per year of study ($1250 per month for courses <36 weeks). There is no exception to this requirement.

Covid-19 INZ Update (Application Priority Levels - 17 April)

Immigration New Zealand has just published the order it will prioritise applications. If you’re worried about processing times for your visa, this information is for you.

FIRST PRIORITY

Visas and Variation of Condition (VOC) requests for critical workers to support the COVID-19 response, including:

  • Offshore/Onshore workers and visitors who work in essential health services
  • Designated onshore workers who work in essential services
  • Other onshore workers in essential services

Urgent/Humanitarian applications and VOC requests:

  • Visas for victims of domestic violence
  • Visitor visas and VOCs for Tongan/Samoan citizens who require urgent and essential travel
  • Visitor visas for the immediate family of NZ citizens and residents (particularly if travelling with the NZ family member on the same flight!)
  • Visitor visas for the immediate family of temporary visa holders who normally live in NZ

Residence class visas for Australian citizens/residents who live in NZ

SECOND PRIORITY

Applicants whose visa applications would not normally be affected by the government’s COVID-19 response, including:

  • Student visas for international students
  • Partnership Work and Visitor visas
  • Dependent Child Student and Visitor visas for the children of work/student visa holders
  • Visitor visas for the dependent children of NZ citizens or residents
  • Post-Study Work Visas

THIRD PRIORITY

  • Essential Skills Work visas for other workers (ie. not working in an essential service like healthcare)
  • All other Work and Student visas (onshore)
  • All other VOC requests (onshore and offshore)
  • Permanent Resident visas and Second/Subsequent Resident Visas

FOURTH PRIORITY

  • All other visa applications
  • NZeTA requests

We hope this update provides some clarity on what to expect for processing times. We are regrettably unable to confirm specific or even rough dates for when your visa will be approved, but like you we are looking forward to visa processing getting back to normal in future.

Keep safe, Keep strong, Keep in touch!

Covid-19 Update Three

Restrictions have been lifted somewhat on certain visa holders, allowing the right to work full- or part-time at a supermarket during the lockdown: from 25/03/20 to 25/04/20 ONLY.

However, please note that the exceptions are only allowed in very specific circumstances, so please make sure you fully understand the new policy before taking action, or you could be in breach of your Visa conditions:

You must meet ALL of the conditions below to qualify:
1. You must currently hold either (a) A Student Visa with part-time work conditions; or (b) a Work Visa; or (c) an Interim Visa where your previous visa was a Work Visa or a Student Visa (with work conditions); and
2. You must have been already employed by a supermarket on 23/03/2020, working in supplying goods for that supermarket (ie. you cannot apply for a new supermarket job now and enjoy full-time work rights); and
3. You must work for a supermarket affiliated with Woolworths NZ Limited, Foodstuffs North Island Limited, or Foodstuffs South Island Limited. Ask your local supermarket if they are affiliated with these companies.

We hope this policy will cause some relief to certain worried migrants, but please do note that the allowance is more restrictive than it may appear. We are certainly not suggesting that anyone can work at a supermarket at this time.

Keep safe, keep informed, and keep in touch!


Information For Offshore Travellers (Covid-19 Update Two)

INFORMATION FOR OFFSHORE TRAVELLERS

Who may travel to New Zealand despite the border closure?
New Zealand citizens are allowed unconditional travel. Resident visa holders may enter as well, unless their resident visa was granted outside of New Zealand and they have not travelled to New Zealand on their resident visa before. Some Australian citizens will be allowed border entry as well, please enquire if you wish to know more.

Temporary visa holders (workers, students, visitors) are normally forbidden from travelling to New Zealand unless INZ grants them an exemption (see below).

Who may be granted an exemption?
Exceptions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, including:
• Health and other essential workers (see below)
• Citizens of Samoa and Tonga for essential travel to New Zealand
• Visitor, student or work visa holders who normally live in New Zealand, and who are the partner or dependent of a temporary work or student visa holder who is currently in New Zealand
• Humanitarian reasons.
Please remember that the bar for “humanitarian reasons” – for example, distress at being separated from a partner will probably not qualify, unless the wellbeing of a child is seriously affected by their parent’s absence.

To qualify for an exemption, you should first submit a special request to INZ, not apply for a visa as normal. Please contact us for further information.

What is an essential health worker?
Offshore workers in an essential health area may be eligible for a visa and border entry. Their application will be prioritised, and if approved they may travel to New Zealand despite the current border restrictions.

They must be a current or new employee (see below) working in a key clinical or non-clinical position (see below) for an essential health service employer.

What is a current employee of an essential health service?
An employee who holds a key clinical or non-clinical position (see below) working in:
• A District Health Board
• New Zealand Blood Service
• Hospice or palliative care
• A primary care practice, such as urgent care or a medical or healthcare centre
• Aged residential care, respite or continuing care facility.

What is a new employee of an essential health service?
A staff member with a signed offer of employment from one of the agencies listed above, and who has a commencement date from March to June 2020.

What is a key clinical or non-clinical position?
The key clinical or non-clinical positions eligible are:
• Medical Doctors
• Nurses
• Midwives
• Psychologists
• Physiotherapists
• Technical and support staff working in:

o Theatre
o Laboratory
o Radiology
o Cardiology Blood service
o Nuclear medicine
o Oncology
o Haematology
o Pathology
o Hyperbaric medicine
o Mortuary
o Research Staff

• Support staff working in:
o Aged care
o Palliative/hospice care
o Mental health
o Child health
o Forensic care

What other essential businesses are exempted from the border closure?
Please refer to the website: https://covid19.govt.nz/…/current-cov…/essential-businesses/

I don’t believe I am eligible to enter New Zealand now, but I would still like to come once things return to normal. Can I still submit a visa application from overseas?
Yes, you can. You can submit a visa now and “get in the queue”, so that your decision will come earlier once INZ reopens.

Note, however, that Immigration New Zealand’s visa processing centres are almost entirely closed so we do not know how long your visa will take to process.
Currently, the New Zealand border is closed for three months, but there is a high chance that this closure will be extended beyond this date.

Unfortunately, we are unsure when visa processing and border entry will return to normal.

INFORMATION FOR ONSHORE MIGRANTS
“I’ve heard something about visa expiry dates being extended due to the epidemic. What does this mean?”
If you are in New Zealand now and hold a valid work, student, or visitor visa expiring between 02/04/20 and 09/07/20 (inclusive), then your visa will be automatically extended to 25/09/20. You do not need to inform Immigration New Zealand of your circumstances, they should contact you.

The visa expiry extension does not apply if you are currently offshore.

“I hold a low-skilled Essential Skills Work Visa and have been here for three years. Normally, I would need to leave New Zealand now. Do I still need to leave?”
You may be able to remain here despite the maximum stay of three years for low-skilled Essential Skills Work Visa holders, especially if you work in an area of essential services.

Please contact us for further information

“I hold a Student Visa or Visitor Visa. Do my work rights change?”
Supermarket workers on any visa (work, student, etc.)
If you held a Student or Work Visa and were working at a supermarket affiliated with Woolworths or Foodstuffs Limited on March 23 2020, then you may be eligible to work full-time until 25 April 2020.

However, please ensure you fully understand the rules before undertaking work that you would not normally be entitled to do! Otherwise, you could get in trouble with Immigration New Zealand at a later date.

Contact us or Immigration New Zealand to ensure these work rights exemptions apply to you.

Student Visa holders in healthcare
International Students currently employed in healthcare roles (including aged residential care) will be able to work full-time for three months in order to support the public health response to COVID-19.

We are awaiting further instructions from Immigration New Zealand on the correct procedure for doing this. Please contact us if you would like to know more.

“I should have got an interim visa by now, but still have not. What does this mean?”
We have several clients who have not yet been granted interim visas due to a glitch in the INZ system. This is unlikely to be resolved until after the lockdown.

Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about your current immigration status.

Covid-19 Update One

We at Choose New Zealand are working tirelessly to keep up to date with the constantly changing policy and Immigration New Zealand operational procedures during this difficult time.

As of now, we are receiving conflicting information about whether visa processing branches will shut down or remain open. We have also enquired about whether application deadlines can be extended and received no clear answer. We are therefore unable to provide any reliable guidance on these matters at this time.

However, please note that the lockdown does NOT mean your visa will be automatically extended as of today: such extensions will only take place if your visa is expires between 02/04/20 and 09/04/20 (inclusive). Do contact us if you are unsure of anything - assume nothing, and always be careful you fully understand your visa expiry date and the conditions of your visa.
We will continue to keep up to date with unfolding events, and promise to do everything we can to take care of our valued clients during this stressful period.
Please refer to the links below for official INZ information on the current situation.

For students:
https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19/covid-19-information-for-student-visa-holders
For employers:
https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19/covid-19-information-for-employers
For all migrants, including current visa holders in New Zealand:
https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/covid-19/coronavirus-update-inz-response

The Familiarization Tour of Studying and Living in Manawatu

Last week Harmeet and David from Choose New Zealand team (Novo Education) had a 4-day awesome business trip to visit Palmerston North – the Familiarization Tour of Studying and Living in Manawatu, which is predominantly funded by Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) and her colleague Helen. During the trip, they visited 3 education providers’ campuses: the largest PTE - IPU New Zealand, the regional ITP – UCOL and Massey UniversityPalmerston North, and met many international directors and principals from local schools. Harmeet and David had a fantastic time over there and learnt a lot regarding international education information in the region from the tour. Special thanks to Kristi Atkins and her colleague Helen who organized the trip and hosted all agents from Auckland during the trip, also to Grant Smith – the Mayor of Palmerston North who attended the traditional welcome and powhiri at a local Marae.

University of Canterbury Agent Day 2020

On Monday 2 March 2020 our Choose New Zealand team member Mabel, travelled to Christchurch for the University of Canterbury Agent Day on Campus. The agents were invited from the University's Director of International Growth Strategic - Ian MacDonald. This day included brief updates and informative presentations from each faculty: Science, Business & Business Taught Master, Arts, Engineering and Education. Speakers included Richard Hartshorn, Stephen Hickson, Will, Zita Joyce, David Wareham, Stuart Wise, Helen White and Helen Bu. Mabel had the opportunity to enjoy lunch with James Waghorn and Elizabeth Zou at the Shilling Club (Campus Cafe) with its stunning view of the campus. The invited agents also enjoyed a Christchurch City Tour including a relaxing walk in the Cracroft Reserve ending with a scenic view of the city.

A visit from the Regional Managers of AUT

Pablo Fernandez and May Wang, the Regional Managers from AUT, visited our Choose New Zealand Auckland office today. Pablo updated our team about all different Bachelor programmes of AUT. May appreciated our efforts in supporting our Chinese students studying at AUT coming back to New Zealand before the travel ban. Our team and global partners are glad to form stronger connections with AUT's team and together assist more international students.

The effects of COVID-19

Due to the effects of COVID-19, the New Zealand government has established a set of strict travel restrictions to protect Kiwi's. In response to Immigration New Zealand's recent update, several of our Chinese university students have chosen to stay in Thailand for 14 days, before returning to New Zealand to continue their studies. Our Choose New Zealand Thailand-based team member Wendy hosted one of our Chinese students. We wish all of our Chinese students a comfortable two-week stay in Thailand.

30 University offer letters in the first 10 days of 2020

We are proud to announce that we had an awesome start to the year for our high school and foundation students, with 30 university offer letters in just the first couple of weeks and more to come soon. We have full confidence in our students and wish them all the very best. Our team has been working really hard to support all #ChooseNewZealand students to achieve their NZ dreams. Big congratulations to all our students on receiving your offer letters!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Our warmest wishes for a happy holiday season! Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Our office will be closed from 23rd Dec 2019- 5th Jan 2020, and will reopen on 6th Jan 2020.

ENZ China Agent Seminars

Choose New Zealand team attended the 2019 Autumn Education New Zealand China Agent Seminars in Changsha, Beijing and Chengdu recently representing Glenfield College, Sacred Heart College (Auckland), Hutt Valley High School, and Languages International. Frank, Kelly and David were very pleased to be able to introduce these high-quality institutions to all agents they met.

2019 Graduation Student Awards

Big congrats!!! to all our High school and Foundation students who graduated last Friday. We loved all the speeches by students, guest and staff. We also had an awesome photo session, making memories. The food was good delicious. The Choose New Zealand facebook page has all the fun photos. To all our graduated, all the best for your next adventure and future studies.

2019 Graduation album Facebook link: Photo album

Partners from Nepal flew back home.

Today our partners from Nepal flew back home. They enjoy their trip very much. To get a better understanding of the New Zealand education system, they visited a number of schools during their stay. Now they believe they can recruit more international students to New Zealand in the near future.

Wishing Ramesh and Bikash a save flight to Nepal 

Welcome our Partners from Nepal

We are happy to welcome Ramesh and Bikash our partners from Nepal. They visited the office this morning to say Hello to everyone. Harmeet and David will accompany them during their stay. We can't wait to share their adventure in New Zealand with you all.

AUT Information Session on Hospitality, Tourism and Events

This morning some of our team went to AUT for an information session on the undergraduates and postgraduates of hospitality, tourism and events at the Auckland City Campus.

We learned impressive information about AUT’s world rankings at #35 in the subject area. AUT is also the only university who provides a Degree in Event Management in New Zealand.

AUT allows students to have a real world experience. This insures that students can gain work experience while studying.

Visit from Massey University

Last week Wednesday we had a visit from Massey University (Tim and Djhoanna) to inform us about the programmes offered at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the College of Creative Arts.

It was also great to be able to learn more about their unique courses such as Bachelor of Resource and Environmental Planning, Bachelor of creative media production,
Master of Design - Weta Workshop School (only available be at Massey University - Wellington) and many more

Massey University also has scholarship opportunity for international student each year too.

AUT Agent Training

Members of our marketing team visited the Auckland City Campus of AUT for the agent training to find out more about AUT’s English and Business programmes yesterday. May Wang, Regional Manager from AUT's International Student Centre, hosted the training and welcomed our team. Karen Rutherford and Sunki Min from AUT's International House introduced the GIE (Academic Preparation & University Entrance Programme) and other English programmes. Farnaaz Mohammed, Director of International Marketing & Recruitment from Faculty of Business, Economics and Law later introduced more development of business and law programmes. We are very confident that AUT can provide you with the best journey to success in NZ to study English and Business.

Contact Chooses New Zealand now. Your future is in your hands!

Day out with Unitec

The Choose New Zealand marketing team went to Unitec Institute of Technology for a programme training and a campus tour. We learnt a lot about the service they provide and was impressed with their strong support for international students.

Our team had so much fun exploring the Unitec Institute of Technology in Auckland. We also had free coffee from Farhana. On behalf of the Choose New Zealand, a big thank you to Unitec for inviting us.

We are hosting the first study tour group from Xi’an China in 2019

We are hosting the first study tour group from Xi’an China in 2019. This is the 4th group from Intest Education who is one of our Choose New Zealand Service Centres in China and has cooperated with Novo since 2015.

18th Jan: We welcomed the group at the airport and gave them orientation in the morning at our office and we sent them home to different homestay families in the afternoon.

19th Jan: We took them to Muriwai Beach to visit Gannet Colony and had a BBQ lunch over there; we went to have a horse riding in the afternoon

20th Jan, the group hiked up Mt Eden in showery weather and visited Auckland Zoo and Western Springs in the afternoon. The student's very enjoyed Chinese Dumplings lunch.

21st Jan: The group started their 2 week English study journey at Languages International. Afternoon Mission Bay.

During 2 week time, we will arrange them to visit Taylors College, UoA and AUT Campus and have a formal Campus tour in Massey University.
They will also visit Rotorua during the long weekend and have some other sightseeing in the Auckland region.

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:
https://www.choosenewzealand.com/en/contact/
Choose New Zealand Kottayam Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/ChooseNewZealandKottayam/

2018 High School and Foundation Program Graduates

2018 student results are out now. We are so proud of our High School and Foundation program graduates of 2018. We are pleased to share our success rate was 100% for NCEA and 92% for EU and University direct related Bridge Program from last year. We are also honoured to announce that three of our student have been offered a university scholarship.

  • One Otago University scholarship for Bachelor of Science (Health Science First Year).
  • Two Massey University scholarship for Bachelor of Creative Media Production.

Novo Education and Choose New Zealand is overwhelmed with joy of the results. We will continue to help our student strive for success in 2019.

Novo Education and PSI End of 2018 function.

Novo Education and PSI Tutoring had an awesome end of year function before the holidays. We had amazing food and drinks, along with fun prizes for the team. Here we share our experience with you all. Hope you've had an excellent 2018. Wish you an even better 2019.

Novo Education is now the Education New Zealand Recognised Agency

It is our honour to announce that Choose New Zealand (Novo Education) has been assigned the status of Recognised Agency by Education New Zealand. 

Choose New Zealand team is dedicated to providing outstanding services to students and clients from all around the world. 2018 has been a great year for our brand and being recognised by the New Zealand government agency is another great achievement. We are looking forward to supporting more people to fulfil their dreams in New Zealand, the world' best destination.

"At Education New Zealand we recognise the quality service and assistance this agency provides to those who want to study in New Zealand and the contribution they make to a positive student experience."

Find us on the Recognised Agency page on Study in New Zealand website (Education New Zealand).

Novo attending the NZIEC 2018

It was great to be part of the New Zealand International Education Conference and big thanks to Education New Zealand for organising such a fantastic event. So much learning and inspiration. We are so proud of that New Zealand is and will continually be a thriving and globally connected nation through world-class international education. Find out more about the conference here.

Novo nominated for the ST Star Award

We are very proud and excited to let you know that Novo Education Consulting has been nominated for the 2018 ST Star New Agency Award. Thank you so much for all your support in the last four years, especially to those partners who voted for us.

The news of our nomination took us by surprise. ST Star Awards are peer-voted awards, first held in 2006, and reward quality across twenty-five categories covering different sectors in the international education industry. We are very honoured to know we are one of the top five voted agencies by the education providers in the world, and the only one from New Zealand and Australia nominated for this award in the last eleven years. We are very proud of this considering we only serve New Zealand institutions, while other overseas agencies connect to many institutions from all around the world.

You can find our nomination information here. The winner will be announced during the awards gala held on the 1st September in London. We hope there will be more good news waiting for us.

We see this award as a recognition of our achievements in the past, and encouragement for delivering even better services to New Zealand institutions, overseas partners, international students and clients, and their families. We understand working alone won’t take us anywhere and we wish to work more closely with all our partners. In the end, we are better together.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year, year of the Dog! May you have a wonderful day! 

Novo Education Received Certificate of Appreciation from Toi-Ohomai

Toi-Ohomai Institute of Technology awarded Novo Education Consulting (Choose New Zealand) the Certificate of Appreciation in recognition of our contribution. Tilak Raj from our partner Fluent Academy received the certificate on behalf of Novo Education in Chandigarh. We will continuously work closely with different institutes to service more students from the world!

Team member updates

As the business grows, our team is expanding and changing. Firstly, we congratulate Caitlin Penty on completing her Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice to become our third Licensed Immigration Adviser. Wendy Sakkhajornkai, our former Office Manager, has now relocated to Thailand, where she acts as our Regional Marketing Manager and is busy developing marketing projects in Thailand. We also welcome our new team member Lyka Agpalo, who has previously worked for Immigration New Zealand. Lyka is now working as the Immigration Coordinator for the Migration Service team.

Birkenhead College Parents Meet and Greet

For perhaps the first time in history, one of our member schools held their “Parents Meet and Greet” in China. On the 27th of June, Birkenhead College representatives Louise Plummer (Deputy Principal and Director of International Students) and Sally Baker (International Student Manager) joined our Operations Director for Greater China, David Gao, to meet with more than 30 parents of current and future Choose New Zealand students and overseas agents in Shanghai.

During the seminar, Louise and Sally introduced Birkenhead College and the various academic, sporting and cultural experiences they offer, and David explained the New Zealand education system and the role of Choose New Zealand Student Services. Two current students also shared their experience as international students in New Zealand.

Louise greatly appreciates what Novo Education and its Choose New Zealand Education Alliance has done to unite students, parents, agents and schools. In her experience dealing with educational partners, Louise has never encountered such a professional team with such a strong focus on student welfare.

There were many questions asked in the Q&A session and we received extremely positive feedback from all attendees.

Caring more students through our Comprehensive Services

As an organisation that promotes New Zealand education and cares for the welfare of international students, we have the advantage of an international team from a wide range of countries. For the Asian market, Vivian and her service team provide our Choose New Zealand clients with the “Guardianship Service”, the “Student Settlement Service”, and the “Family Settlement Service”. Through our efforts, Choose New Zealand has become a central link which works closely with students’ own families, students’ host families, students’ schools and students’ overseas agents. We help each student to complete a personalised study plan and achieve learning objectives by means of regular academic tutorials and individual student assistance. From time to time during weekends and student holidays, our Love New Zealand Student Club organises various fun activities, so that students can experience many facets of New Zealand life. We also continue to expand the number of services we offer and have strong professional links with experts in the fields of education, career development, health, and counselling to assist with the development of each student and maximise their performance. 

Click here to download our service brochure.

Visiting China, Vietnam and Philippines

David Gao, our Operations Director of China, had gone to his first trip to China on 15 March and is spending one and half month travelling in different cities to promote Choose New Zealand Education Alliance and our member schools. He will attend five Education New Zealand Agent Seminars in Shanghai, Beijing, Jinan, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. He will also visit many other regions to have Choose New Zealand seminars and workshops to meet more students and parents. We are looking forward to hearing more good news from him and updating you.

Holly, our Marketing Manager of Viet Nam, is now in Viet Nam visiting agents and student families. She will soon join in Education New Zealand Agent Seminars in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Bruce, our Chairman, has just returned from a marketing trip to the Philippines. He has hosted many seminars and workshops for potential students to introduce our member institutions and their programmes. 

More of our students getting into universities

It always makes us so proud to see our students achieving their dreams through the effort of themselves, their schools, and us. For this summer intake, we had many high school and foundation year graduates who are starting their universities studies in the subjects they have dreamed.

A few of them are:

  • Kevin – University of Auckland - Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • Yijun – University of Auckland - Bachelor of Science (Food Science)
  • Zhexuan – University of Auckland - Bachelor of Arts (Education)
  • Ran – Massey University - Bachelor of Veterinary Science

Very big congratulations to them and we wish them the best for their future.

Helped more clients getting visas

After Bruce became our first Licensed Immigration Adviser (LIA) last year, we have been helping many students and clients with their visa applications and issues. Now we have two LIAs and the third one is on her way to be licenced.

By February 2017 we have helped to lodge in total 237 visa applications and the overall success rate is 83%. Like everyone, we have a lot of problems with getting approval for Student Visas from India early last year, but since putting new processes into place in October, we have had almost 100% success. That total includes Student Visas, Visit Visas, Work Visas and many Section 61 cases, which is helping people who are in New Zealand 'unlawfully' to get back onto a lawful visa. We believe by having the professional LIA services, we can better represent New Zealand institutions and provide the complete services to any student or client lawfully and ethically. 

We have shared many recommendations from our clients in the past. Recently, we received another reference letter from Miriam of Rutherford College. We have been working with Miriam and her school in the past year and in her very kind letter she shares her very positive comments on our professional work with her school, students, parents and agents. She “highly recommends” us “as a professional and innovative educational agency in the School Sector”. Thanks Miriam! 

You can read the letter here.

Visited more schools

In the past a few months our representatives have visited and had meetings with many institutions. David and Frank attended the Study in Wellington seminar in Wellington. They had some great meetings with many outstanding institutions. We are very confident that our students would have awesome experience in our “world's coolest capital city”.

David also visited institutions in Nelson-Marlborough region with Education Nelson-Marlborough. We are very happy to welcome Nayland College, Marlborough Boys' College, and Marlborough Girl' College signing up Choose New Zealand membership and choosing to be represented in the following overseas marketing trips.

New Marketing Plans and Pricing for Member Schools

We have reviewed our Choose New Zealand Education Alliance membership packages and decided to keep the most items the same, especially the pricing. So, all our old or new members can enjoy the same high-quality services with the same price as before.

If you are not ready to commit for a whole year Premier Membership in the selected markets, you can also choose to let us represent you in the single market visit. For example, David Gao, our China marketing manager, is going to China in August after his current trip in China. For institutions who want to be represented in the ENZ Agent Workshops and more Choose New Zealand seminars can just pay $2,500 to keep your voices in the market and in front of all the key agents, parents, and students.

Please feel free to contact us for more information.

How will changes announced by Immigration New Zealand affect the “Study Pathway to Residence?”

The new announcement (on 11th October 2016) will make it a little more difficult for students to get Residence, but should not make a huge difference.

1. The ‘points” requirement for automatic selection has gone from 140 to 160 points (temporarily).

The basic requirement is still to get an offer of a Skilled Job, and for most students that will still be

20 to 30 (age) + 50 (job offer) + 50 (L7 or L8 qualification) = 120 to 130 points

To get the additional points required, students may need some of the following

Study in ‘bonus’ subjects where we have a real shortage (possibly 10 + 10 + 10)
Study at Post Graduate level (1 or 2 years)  (10 + 10 or possibly 15)
Work for most of the 3 years permitted after study  (possibly 10 + 10 +10)
Get a job out of Auckland (+30)
Have a partner (10 or 20 + possibly 20)
Have close family already resident in NZ (+10)

So, a very good reason to get advice from the experts, and use our Licensed Immigration Adviser services.

2. The English requirement is still IELTS 6.5, but is no longer met by

Studying one year at level 7 in NZ  OR
Work in a skilled job for 1 year

So, unless gaining a qualification at L8 (minimum) you will need an IELTS test result less than 2 years old at the time of applying for Residence.

Read more here: http://www.choosenewzealand.com/news-events/how-will-changes-announced-by-immigration-new-zealand-affect-the-study-path/ and more details on Immigration New Zealand website: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/news-notifications/new-zealand-residence-programme-changes/nzrp-smc

Choose New Zealand in Vietnam

Our Regional Manager Holly was traveling in Vietnam with our member schools and Education New Zealand. Holly is promoting Choose New Zealand and our schools to more agents and students in workshops and fairs. She has reported back lots of good news and we believe we will achieve more in the future. Looking forward to welcoming more Vietnamese students.

Novo is expanding its services

We planned for Bruce to become a Licensed Immigration Adviser so that we could help our students better, with anything from Student Visa applications, right through to Residency. However, we have received a couple of requests from schools for advice about Work Visas for potential off-shore teachers, and given the teaching crisis in the media (see NZ Herald article here) we expect this may grow.

At the same time, we do get enquiries via our website from teachers looking to migrate here, so we are investigating how best we can match that supply and demand. Watch this space!! (But feel free to contact us in the meantime, if you have any specific enquiry.)

Happy students in 2016 study groups

Novo has again successfully hosted several groups from China during their summer holidays. This year we have students and parents from Xi’an, Shenzhen, Zhejiang and several other cities and provinces. We helped them enrol and study in many Auckland local schools and organised lots of activities and trips. All Novo staff were really committed to provide them the best study and life experience in New Zealand. With all the positive feedback from our students and parents, we believe we have done a good job again. We hope to see more students coming to have a taste of the real New Zealand education with our short-term programmes. 

Novo at New Zealand International Education Conference 2016

Novo’s delegates have attended the 2016 New Zealand International Education Conference (NZIEC) held in Auckland, New Zealand on 18, 19 August. This is the 25th NZIEC and the biggest ever. We are very happy to hear the strong growth in the past year and what Education New Zealand, together with many other parties, has achieved internationally. We also have learnt a lot from a wide range of industry experts talking about trends and developments in international education. We all look forward to a strong future. (see Education New Zealand news here)

Study Group Visits Novo

A delegation from Study Group visited our new office on 17 August. Study Group is a leading international education provider, who own and operate colleges, and also partner with more than 50 universities across the UK, Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. The meeting with Manoj Shetty (Executive Director of Global Sales), Alex Chevrolle (Sales Director), Sean Van Wyk (Head of Marketing, University Partnership), and Andrew Lee (Partner Sales Manager, New Zealand) was very productive. We believe the strengthening partnership with Study Group will let us deliver more valuable projects in multiple markets and help more students to achieve their dreams.

We have moved into new office

We are very pleased to have moved our office recently – but only next door, from 3A to 3C in the same building. We can now better serve our clients in a bigger space. Come and check out our new place if you are in the vicinity. 

The rise of international education

Grant McPherson, the chief executive of Education New Zealand, has written an article recently, talking about education industry and international students impacted New Zealand positively. It breaks down to four topics which are educating kiwis for a global world, economic impact, skilled talent pool, and education exports. You can read the full article here.

Joining Auckland Chamber of Commerce

Novo Education has joined the Auckland Chamber of Commerce to enhance our connection with businesses in Auckland and improve our services we provide to our clients. With the resources and other support from The Chamber we will be able to better serve our students and help them to learn job seeking skills, and connect to potential employers. We are very much looking forward to working further with The Chamber. 

Novo Education attended the EPIC 2016 conference

Delegates from Novo Education attended the EPIC (Ethnic People in Commence) Conference 2016. The theme of the 2016 conference was Innovation, Diversity and Building Connections, with approximately 300 people of various ethnicities attending.

Ethnic People in Commerce (EPIC) is organised by the Office of Ethnic Communities with private sector sponsorship to promote links between mainstream and ethnic business communities.

Delegates heard from business leaders including Traci Houpapa, Sir George Fistonich and Wei Gao. The Prime Minister, John Key, also spoke at the conference.

New Zealand is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world.

A quarter of all people who call New Zealand home were born overseas and the region is home to more than 200 different ethnicities.

Recent China Trip

David Gao, our Operations Director of Greater China, is travelling between different cities in China to introduce New Zealand education and Choose New Zealand member schools to students, parents and agents. Here is one photo showing him in a university's lecture room speaking to many students. Well done David!

Novo’s student on the stage of International Day 2016 in Birkenhead College

Novo’s staff were invited to attend the International Day 2016 at Birkenhead College. We are so glad to see four International students enrolled through Novo performing shows in their own culture. Big applause to Birkenhead College and all their students.

Love New Zealand Student Club Easter Activity

As the hub for all our students in New Zealand, Love New Zealand Student Club organised a hike during the Easter Holiday. We went to the Te Henga Walkway in west Auckland. Thirty-five students and parents walked from the bush trail to the cliff top. The stunning views of Auckland's wild west coast amazed one and all. Everyone had a great time together with the beautiful bushes, trees, birds, beaches and water. These activities remind us why we choose and love New Zealand.

Novo welcomes the new Code of Practice

On 10 March Minister Joyce launched the new Code of Practice which is able to better reflect the desired outcomes for students. We are glad to have been involved during the discussion process. We believe this new Code will help and guide our industry to remain the high standards of student support. With the new International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS) we also hope any international student who comes to New Zealand will have peace -of- mind and confident that they will get a great experience. NZQA is seeking feedback and contributions from the industry on Guidelines for the new Code.

More supports for group visits

We have been organising tour group visits in the past a few years, and have seen the growing of demand. Often during the holiday season of some our key markets such as China, Vietnam, and Thailand, it is a big pressure to find a suitable school, and enough homestay families. Recently Education New Zealand (ENZ) and the Schools International Business Association (SIEBA) have been working together to establish a ‘clearing house’ for school student group visits. It is a very good news for the industry and for organisers like us. We are looking for working closely with ENZ and SIEBA to better accommodate our groups and building the reputation for New Zealand of being the best destination for group visits. Read more

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. 

Strong student growth for New Zealand in 2015

Everyone in this industry can see and sense we have had a very good year in 2015. A 13% increase of student visas takes the total number to 91,062. It is another big step towards the goal of doubling the number from 2013 to 2025. This article here can give you a good overall understanding of what we have achieved in the past year. Let’s work together to achieve an even bigger 2016!

Darryn Melrose: Indian students of huge value to NZ

In a recent article Darryn Melrose, chief executive of Media Design School, talks about the value Indian students are adding to New Zealand. Read more.

Our Chairman, Bruce Cleland, has been approved as a Licensed Immigration Adviser

Congratulations to our Chairman Bruce Cleland for being approved as a Licensed Immigration Adviser. We can now do more to support our member schools, students, and partners. Please get in contact if you would like talk to us on any visa matter.

As you will know, some years ago New Zealand had concerns about the bad visa advice being given to people by disreputable “advisers” and so now nobody can give any advice about any visa at all, unless they are Licensed, or in special cases, exempt. Off-shore agents are exempt, but only for advice on Student Visas. Strictly speaking, off-shore agents cannot give advice on Guardian Visas, Work Visas (for partners of students), Post Study Work Visas, or Residence.
 
We are here to help – please get in contact if you would like to work with us on any visa matter.
 
Because we now hold a license, we will be providing you with more materials during the year about Study, Work and Stay in New Zealand.

New Zealand is increasingly international students’ first choice of study destination

Getting a qualification isn't restricted to someone's local university anymore - and international students are travelling from as far as Colombia and Nepal to study in New Zealand. The number of international students coming to New Zealand shores has increased from 86,596 in 2010 to 104,418 this year. Read more here

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 info@novodeucation.co.nz

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

Phones are up!

Our phones are working again, YAY! Thank Friday for awesome technicians. You can call our office +64 9520 4329 and email us anytime again.

Phones temporarily down

We are experiencing some technical difficulties.If anyone needs to contact us urgently please phone 022 639 2095. Sorry for any inconvenience and we will let you know as soon as everything is up and running again soon.

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

Alumni Voices showcase New Zealand education

Education New Zealand completed its Alumni Voices project in July, which included 40 written and 10 filmed interviews with high-profile New Zealand alumni from across South East Asia, and since their awe-inspiring stories have been shared across the region. 

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.

Japanese teachers visit New Zealand

Air New Zealand and Education New Zealand organised a familiarisation tour with 10 teachers from private high schools across Japan. Japanese teachers were the focus for this familiarisation visit in recognition of the fact that they are among the key influencers, along with alumni and agents, for Japanese students and their families when considering international study locations. The word-of-mouth promotion of New Zealand as an education destination that comes from these visits is highly effective. See the full article here

The New Zealand China Sister Schools Fund

The next round of the fund is now open. Applications must be in by midnight on 12 October 2015. The fund is open to all New Zealand schools that are Code of Practice signatories. Grants of approximately $2,500 per school will be awarded to successful schools to establish new sister school relationships, or to strengthen existing relationships, with a focus on sister cities/provinces.

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.

Easier visa application with Apply on Behalf

Read more about Apply on Behalf effective as of mid-June this year, NZ-based agents and providers can help students fill out and upload immigration forms, the law still stands that unlicensed advice is not permitted to be given. Read more in detail here

Impressive growth in New Zealand international education

A recent article in the ICEF revealed data from Education New Zealand showing a strong 2014 for the country’s international education sector. International student numbers were up 13%. India and China accounted for the bulk of 2014’s enrolment growth but there has been significant growth in emerging markets such as Colombia, France, Chile and the Philippines. Growth for the year was focused in Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP) (up 15%) and Private Training Establishments (PTE) sectors (up 37%). All other sectors grew 3-5%. Student visas issued and the total number of new student visas issued increased by 10%. 

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