New practice brings pastoral care into focus

Steven Joyce – New pratice brings- Steven Joyce Web

A new Code of Practice for education providers is now in place to strengthen the care of international students in New Zealand.

There are more than 100,000 international students who come to New Zealand each year. New Zealand was one of the first countries to adopt a Code of Practice in 2002. This new Code will ensure that we remain a world leader in the pastoral care of international students.

Impressive growth

The international education sector has been growing strongly and is now our fifth-largest export sector. To sustain that growth, we must ensure that our international students receive a high quality education and have a positive, well-supported experience while they are in our country.

The previous Code was ground-breaking at that time, but following a review in 2013, the Cabinet decided it was time to update the code arrangements. Amending legislation was passed in 2015, and this new code results from that legislation.

Punitive measures

The Code outlines ten outcomes sought from education providers for the care and support of international students. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) will administer the Code and impose sanctions against education providers who breach it.

A new dispute resolution scheme that provides a faster and more effective forum for resolving contract and financial disagreements between students and providers has also been established. Both the code and the disputes resolution scheme come into force on July 1, 2016.

Big earner

International education contributes $2.85 billion a year to our economy and provides more than 30,000 jobs for New Zealanders. But it is about so much more than just income for New Zealand.

New Zealand’s future is about being well-connected to the world and especially the Asia-Pacific region. International education helps build strong linkages with our trading partners now and into the future. The study experience for Kiwi students is enriched by international students studying here, and when our international students go home they become life-long ambassadors for New Zealand.

The new code and the dispute resolution scheme are part of the Education Amendment Act 2015 and follow extensive consultation across the sector.

Steven Joyce is Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment. The above was a statement that he issued on March 10, 2016.

Please read our Editorial, ‘New lessons for agents and care providers’ under Viewlink on Page 12 of this issue.

 

Leadership Statement for International Education

(Part of Version One issued on September 20, 2011)

Doubling the economic value of international education to New Zealand is at the heart of the government’s new strategy for the sector. The Government has prepared the first version of a Leadership Statement for International Education, which sets bold aspirations for the growth that we want to achieve over the next 15 years and beyond.

The targets

The statement, which aims to double the economic value of international education to $5 billion over the next 15 years, includes targets to (a) develop and sustain mutually beneficial education relationships with key partner countries as a leading part of New Zealand Inc strategies in Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas (b) increase annual revenues from providing education services offshore to at least $0.5 billion (c) increase the number of international students enrolled in New Zealand providers offshore, from 3000 to 10,000 (d) double the number of international postgraduate students (particularly in programmes in addition to those at PhD level) from 10,000 to 20,000 (e) increase the transition rate from study to residence for international university students (f) increase New Zealanders’ skills and knowledge to operate effectively across cultures.

Main Objectives

International education is an important enabler in strengthening New Zealand’s economic, cultural and social links with the world.  New Zealand is a trading nation, and a key objective of the government’s medium-term economic agenda is to shift resources to the tradeable part of the economy, in order to help earn our way in the world. Growth in the export value of international education is a significant contributor to this objective.

As well as strengthening our education system, international education is expected to contribute to our goals for research, innovation, trade and tourism.  International education also encourages the immigration of highly skilled people, and helps to grow links with our major trading partners in Asia, Europe and the Pacific.  These links are crucial to our ongoing success.

Inter-governmental agreements

An important aspect of the international education sector is its broader contribution to the education development objectives of partner countries, expressed through inter-government agreements and often involving the provision of expertise.

This leadership statement proposes a set of stretch goals which we believe are achievable, and outlines what the Government and sector would need to do to reach them. Continued growth in the value of international education will be supported by a single and focused Crown agency, to ensure improved functioning of the “New Zealand Inc” effort offshore. A substantial increase in Crown funding for the support of international education has been approved to adequately resource the achievement of the goals.

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