Institutions get ready to welcome international students

Benefit of education in New Zealand: Jaspreet Sindhwani and Vriti Dhugga (Photo Supplied)

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Auckland, July 6, 2022

With New Zealand borders opening to international students, Whitireia and WelTec Colleges are getting ready for a new intake of 50 students from overseas.

Chief Executive Mark Oldershaw said that while Covid-19 has had an impact on international enrolments, the academic and administrative staff continued to work closely with overseas institutions and students.

Flexible learning opportunities

“Many of whom are increasingly looking for flexible, blended learning opportunities such as the ones we offer. As well as our key markets Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, China and India, we are proud to have been selected to partner with the Cook Islands in delivering tertiary qualifications where they have a gap in the market. This currently includes cyber security, which is not offered locally, and nursing where they have a skills shortage,” he said.

Mr Oldershaw said that with 40 students enrolled in the two Whitireia programmes in the Cook Islands, the Whitireia and WelTec tutors will spend blocks of two weeks in Rarotonga each semester. They will be based at the University of South Pacific and deliver the remainder of the programme online.

“Discussions are underway to roll out similar programmes in Samoa and Tonga. It is also heartening to see strong growth in our Chinese and Indian partnerships for joint delivery of programmes. For example, we have 100 students enrolled for our new China-based Bachelor of Information Technology in 2022. We also have 450  students in our two joint Digital Media programmes delivered online to China,” Mr Oldershaw said.

According to him, there has been significant interest in flexible post-graduate options.

These are structured as 1 + 1 Masters programmes in which students study for a year in their home country and a year on campus in New Zealand.

Vriti Dhugga

Jaspreet Sindhwani and Vriti Dhugga, international students from India, recently graduated from Whitireia under these programmes.

“I came to New Zealand in 2020 and it has been a very tough time for me, as my husband and son are in India and have not been able to come here,” Vriti, a Master of Management, said.

“The tutors from Whitireia have been amazing in helping me in every way, supporting me emotionally and with big decisions, I have had to make, not only with my study. My tutors were so kind to me and supported my move to Napier that I could take up a job at Hōhepa as part of starting my residency and putting my study to work,” she said.

Jaspreet Sindhwani

Jaspreet heard about Whitireia before he came to New Zealand in 2020 through a friend in the education sector who recommended he apply.

“I loved that at Whitireia you felt part of a real campus, a real college,” he said.

He has completed his postgraduate Diploma in Management, and previously qualified as a mechanical engineer with an MBA in India.

“I did not know anyone when I first arrived in New Zealand, but the friendly environment at Whitireia meant that I made friends easily and it helped my confidence.”

Although already working in New Zealand and also applying for residency, Jaspreet is considering continuing his study at Whitireia.

Education at the New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology has embarked on ambitious campaigns to attract international students such as Vriti and Jaspreet, and Whitireia and WelTec teams have also set off on roadshows to meet existing contacts.

The government has indicated that it will allow 5000 new international students into the country from the middle of the year. The rebalanced visa system should streamline the visa process for students keen on studying here.

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