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International Education Excellence Awards

Beach Balls, Cutting-Edge Kitchens Scoop International Education Excellence Awards

Education New Zealand: Media Release 12/08/11

New Zealand schools are thinking outside the box to attract international students to their institutions. Some of the best ideas have been singled out to receive International Education Excellence Awards from Education New Zealand.

Botany Downs Secondary College recently launched a campaign called “Botany Bounce”. Beach balls featuring the school’s name are being distributed to students, and sent home with departing international students. Students are then encouraged to make short videos featuring the beach balls, which can be posted online.

The school’s marketing plans aren’t all fun and games though. In recent years Botany Downs has made a concerted effort to diversify their source countries for international students from a starting point of two countries in 2005, to 16 countries in 2011. Botany Downs Secondary College has been awarded the International Education Excellence Award for Marketing.

The International Education Excellence Award for Innovation and Internationalisation has been awarded to Long Bay College for their partnership with the Korean Culinary Academy. Students from Korea training to be chefs can spend two years in New Zealand attending Long Bay College, and supplementing their regular curriculum with extra English language and hospitality training. The school has built a brand new professional kitchen so hospitality students get a top quality experience.

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At the opening of the facility, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said, “I’d like to welcome the partnership between Long Bay College and the Korean Culinary Academy. This is the sort of relationship which is New Zealand’s future.”

Two award winners were announced in the Excellence in Student Support category.

Spotswood College decided that students should get more from their time in New Zealand than a culture and adventure experience. To make sure their international students were able to set and achieve goals for their stay in New Zealand, they introduced an Individual Development Plan. Students, school staff and homestay parents all contribute to the plan. Students can set goals such as playing on a sports team, improving their English, learning about Maori culture, or getting higher marks in particular subjects – and this is used and updated throughout their stay. The plan also includes strategies for re-integrating when they return to their home countries.

Victoria University of Wellington has developed what it calls the “Student Support Life Cycle” which begins long before the students arrive in New Zealand. The support system starts with pre-arrival online tools to help international students prepare for their stay in New Zealand. It continues with the distribution of arrival packs for new students, including SIM cards so they can make contact with their families right away and other important tools for settling in, such as Snapper cards for bus travel. While support is always available to international students, extra planning is in place in the event of a crisis in their home country. The “Home Country Crisis Response” was developed in 2010, and put to use after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. This included counselling and an information session which was attended by over 80% of the Japanese students at the university.

The International Education Excellence Awards were presented at the 20th New Zealand International Education Conference at Sky City in Auckland. The awards were presented by Sir Ray Avery, who was the 2010 New Zealander of the Year.


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