Since the early 2000s ISANA NZ has served New Zealand’s export education industry. During this time the Association has become aware of the critical significance of leadership in this sector and believes grounded policy and student-centred strategies are key to growth and sustainability.
Positive policy changes
There have been significant policy developments in recent years that represent a positive step-change. First, ISANA NZ welcomed the announcement of the International Education Strategy 2018-2030 (IES), which emphasises student experience, sustainability and global citizenship. Goal 3 calls for the establishment of international education as an academic discipline, which ISANA NZ has called for since it assisted Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Education with the establishment of the country’s first online International Education course.
Another timely development was the introduction of the International Student Wellbeing Strategy (ISWS). ISWS funding has enabled ISANA NZ to develop innovative initiatives such as the community engagement programme to facilitate social connections for international students. See Community Engagement
A profession to serve the export education industry
The dictionary definition of profession refers to a workforce requiring a formal period of training and possessing expertise recognised by wider society. This suggests the country’s fourth largest export earner is not currently served by a profession. ISANA NZ is working hard with partners to establish professional practice and standards that serve the industry and provides the fundamentals for evidence-based practice and innovation.
Promoting New Zealand’s bicultural uniqueness
International education provides an opportunity to celebrate New Zealand’s biculturalism. The country’s bicultural ethos presents a point of difference as a study destination and the holistic he tangata he tangata he tangata approach embedded in Māori kaupapa provides a template for student-centred practice.
International education brings a different perspective
International education also offers a fresh critique from the outside looking in. The presence of 100,000+ international students raises questions about our approach to globalisation and internationalisation. For instance, to what extent do teachers develop a culturally responsive pedagogy that is formed by international students’ cultures? And can education providers justifiably claim to be raising global citizens when many graduates are monolingual and know little about world religions? International education provides the impetus to develop intercultural competency and cultural intelligence
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