Te Pūkenga shares International Education Strategy

A new International Education Strategy has been released by Te Pūkenga, aimed at ‘providing an outstanding education and learning experience that develops highly skilled and culturally conscious global ākonga that are sought-after by employers’.

Te Pūkenga Chief Executive Stephen Town says the strategy is about more than bringing international ākonga to Aotearoa New Zealand, however. 

“It’s about creating a high value future for global ākonga by providing excellent education outcomes, improving student experience and wellbeing and putting the learner at the centre of everything we do,” Mr Town says.

“We have a unique opportunity to move from a model of competition to an integrated and collaborative approach, with a single brand, tailored to international markets and a single strategy aligned with the Government’s International Education Strategy.”

The strategy has been led by Te Pūkenga International Lead and Toi Ohomai Chief Executive Dr Leon Fourie, who has worked closely with Education New Zealand, G2G and an International Working Group of International Directors and Chief Executives across Te Pūkenga.

“The network has really pulled together, bringing their strengths into a collective approach and shared goals. It’s a huge win for the network to have valued experience and expertise from across the motu working so closely on this,” Town says.

Dr Fourie says the strategy sets a new direction towards creating more pathways to global citizenship, diversifying markets and creating high value for learners, employers and community.

“It gives us a roadmap to utilising the size, scale, skills and expertise of Te Pūkenga so we can deliver world-class applied and vocational higher education and training to international ākonga anywhere in the world, and also leveraging off our ability to successfully export our expertise in the design, development and delivery of education and training outcomes,” says Fourie.

“We will be developing new, innovative, targeted products and services; giving effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and delivering to the expectations set for us by our Te Tiriti partners and providing unique bi-cultural experiences for global ākonga.”

“We’ll be focusing on both onshore and offshore, on regional development, workforce capability, working collaboratively with our government agencies, and creating significant value for Aotearoa New Zealand and New Zealanders,” he says.

The strategy has five key areas of focus:

  • creating and supporting skilled and culturally competent global ākonga
  • adding significant value to the Aotearoa New Zealand community
  • aligning learning outcomes to the needs of employers
  • creating valuable strategic partnerships within and outside of Aotearoa New Zealand
  • giving expression to our Te Tiriti relationship that exists between the Crown and Māori to improve outcomes for Māori through delivering partnership, protection, participation, and equity.

A Transition Plan for 2022 involves multiple workstreams that will amongst other consider future arrangements for agent networks and agreements; how institutional partnerships and agreements will be managed; standardizing fees, discounts and scholarships; and the development of an International Marketing Strategy and establishing its brand in the market place.

Alongside this an Implementation Plan will be developed, aligned with Te Pūkenga Operating Model, to give effect to the strategy over three horizons – 2023, 2026 and 2033.

Fourie says key to it all is that Te Pūkenga will be operating as unified sector – its strategy will be delivered through a cohesive network that enables consistency, accessibility, collaboration and equity.

Meanwhile, it was also announced this week that Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology (Toi Ohomai) and Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) will move into Te Pūkenga on 31 May 2022. This early move by the two subsidiary Institute of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) marks the first time ākonga will be directly part of the new national vocational education provider, rather than a regional subsidiary.

Town said, “Welcoming Wintec and Toi Ohomai ākonga, kaimahi, Tiriti partners, employers and stakeholders is a key milestone for Te Pūkenga. Wintec and Toi Ohomai are important community members and I acknowledge their standing and strengths. 

“Te Pūkenga is committed to continued vocational education excellence in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions. Tiriti partners and Māori stakeholders are important to this commitment and the change in structure. All three organisations have appreciated Tiriti partner and Māori stakeholder engagement with this process.”

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