New Zealand schools wanting to boost the performance of international education in their sector have formed a new nationwide organisation to drive the effort.
The Schools International Education Business Association (SIEBA) and Education New Zealand (ENZ) jointly announced the initiative last Friday.
SIEBA was born out of the development of a strategic roadmap that identified priorities to enable growth in international education for schools.
ENZ’s acting chief executive, John Goulter says: “Schools have a critical role in New Zealand’s $2.85 billion international education industry, providing international school students with a world-class education and a strong foundation from which they can go on to any number of tertiary courses and education programmes offered by institutions around the country and around the world.
“As well, New Zealand students who study alongside international classmates are being given an invaluable opportunity to interact with people from other cultures, thereby giving them a head start in the global connectedness that’s essential for success in today’s world.”
With a mission to lead, connect and grow, SIEBA will provide leadership for the school sector, connect its membership and both identify and present opportunities.
The International Education Snapshot: 2014 full year report shows that the number of international students studying in New Zealand schools grew by four per cent on 2013. The sector has also seen a seven per cent – $8.8 million – increase in tuition fees in 2014.
John van der Zwan has been appointed as interim executive director to guide SIEBA’s development through its first six months, and is excited by the road ahead.
With over 170 members already, Mr van der Zwan encourages all schools to join SIEBA – whether they have had a long involvement with international education or are just enrolling their first student from overseas. “SIEBA will be the go-to resource for best practice, professional development and advice,” he says.
“The elected board members are all highly experienced international education practitioners who are dedicated to fostering strong growth in our sector.”
At the inaugural Annual General Meeting held on June 23 the following board members were elected: Chris Klaassen, director of international, Avondale College, Auckland (appointed as interim chair); Robbie Pickford, director of international students, Takapuna Grammar School, Auckland; Guy Pascoe, director of international services, Scots College, Wellington; and Anne-Marie Biggs, principal, Glendowie Primary School, Auckland.
The deputy principal and director of international students at Macleans College, Melissa Irving, says: “I am looking forward to having a body that is uniquely positioned to understand the needs of our sector and to respond accordingly with that sole focus – a body that will help schools to grow capacity and improve practice, and target new business opportunities.”
More information about SIEBA, including the names of the elected board members can be found on the SIEBA website www.sieba.nz.