Lure of the NZ varsities

PETALING JAYA: As borders continue to open around the world, New Zealand is ready to welcome new international students to its highly ranked universities.

Education New Zealand (ENZ) regional director Asia Ben Burrowes (pic) said international education is key to reconnecting with the world and with borders now open, it wants to extend an invitation to prospective international students in Malaysia to consider New Zealand’s innovative and future-focused education options.

“New Zealand is open for business and we’re warmly welcoming international students back to our shores.

“This was what brought us to the recent Star Education Fair,” he said.

ENZ was the Diamond sponsor for the fair, which was held at the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre on Aug 27 and 28.

A crown entity, ENZ – which takes the lead in marketing New Zealand’s education industry around the world – represented the University of Auckland, Auckland University of Technology, the University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, Massey University, the University of Otago, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Waikato at the fair.

“We were excited to introduce a range of new education products and programmes for Malaysian students and talk to them about everything New Zealand has to offer,” said Burrowes.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand hosted more than 115,000 international students annually.

In 2019, there were more than 1,800 Malaysian students there.

According to the latest Worldwide Educating for the Future Index, New Zealand is the “top English-speaking country for preparing students for the future”, said Burrowes.

The country’s varsities excel in developing soft skills such as innovation and creativity thanks to its education system and cutting- edge research and development, he added.

Kiwi education providers make use of a more “relaxed” and practical teaching style that encourages students to speak up, work in teams, problem-solve and discover the answers themselves, he said, adding that these graduates can work effectively in a wide range of jobs, careers and work environments across the globe.

Describing New Zealand as a “stunning country”, Burrowes said it not only offers top education choices but is also known for its beautiful landscape dotted with glaciers, snowy mountains, fjords, lush forests and beaches.

He added that New Zealand was the first country in the world to introduce pastoral care requirements to ensure that education providers support and look after their international students.

Burrowes said international students in New Zealand can enjoy the country ranked the second most peaceful one in the world in the Global Peace Index 2022.

As an added bonus, he said Malaysian students who complete a degree or postgraduate qualification will have access to open post-study work rights at the end of their studies for up to three years.

He said Malaysians who studied in New Zealand have returned home to use their skills and knowledge as leaders in their fields.

One of them is Dr Mazlan Othman, Malaysia’s first astrophysicist.

A recipient of the Colombo Scholarship, Dr Mazlan was the first woman to earn a PhD at the University of Otago.

She returned to Malaysia, serving in several roles locally. She was also the director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna, Austria, from 2010 to 2014.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Malaysian students to our shores once again where they can once again enjoy the benefits of New Zealand education, while New Zealand can also enjoy the benefits Malaysian students bring to our local communities.

“New Zealand’s invitation to international students is to bring their own culture, perspectives and values, and proudly share these.

“Together, we can build a future built on mutual respect, sustainability and curiosity,” Burrowes said.

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