About the Programme

After the onset of Covid-19 in 2020, the New Zealand Government announced the Strategic Recovery Plan for International Education. A key workstream in the Plan was “Transforming to a more Sustainable Future State”. Cabinet agreed to support a package of initiatives within this workstream, setting aside $10 million to support sector and broader economic recovery via the diversification of international education products and services . This programme of work seeks to answer the following questions by July 2023:

What new international education products and services could set NZ apart from its competitors?

How do students want to engage with the NZ education experience – online, in their home country, in NZ, mixed?

What is the best way to deliver this future experience for students and for NZ?

What is the best way to increase the sector’s resilience to future shocks like COVID-19?

How do we best give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi?

To design and develop a programme of work that would achieve the government’s objectives, ENZ Manapou ki te Ao engaged with the Ministry of Education and Treasury teams, and the Office of the Government Chief Digital Officer (GCDO) at the Department of Internal Affairs. The GCDO provided valuable support for ENZ’s recommended piloting approach of test, learn, and refine. ENZ Manapou ki te Ao has also worked with Callaghan Innovation and a number of innovation experts to ensure that the programme was based on innovation best-practice principles.

The international education landscape that we aspire to will look different to what we had in 2019, but I’m confident that we are all up for the challenge. I’m conscious, particularly, of the innovative use of digital delivery modes that are already proving successful. The pandemic has accelerated a lot of innovation, which will serve us well as we now begin to build back.

Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins – New Zealand International Education Strategy 2022-2030

Timeline in detail

Programme Workstreams

The programme has three distinct workstreams:

New Products and Services

Exploring the creation of new products and services pilots aimed at transforming the way international learning is developed, promoted and delivered. This workstream includes the International Education Product Innovation Fund.

Learn more about the Product Innovation Fund

Offshore Delivery

Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) has been working with New Zealand universities to explore and test the value of developing a coordinated pathway initiative under the New Zealand education brand. This would enable international learners to complete a foundation year of a New Zealand undergraduate degree from a dedicated learning centre in their home country, before completing their degree at any participating New Zealand university. The New Zealand Education Centre initiative is currently paused, while we review whether this consortium or group approach remains the best approach, given the growing transnational education capabilities of our universities.

Digital Delivery

A series of online education platform pilots, designed to understand sector appetite and capability for delivering online education, global audience demographics, behaviour and preferences, and commercial models. The Digital Delivery workstream comprises “Rented” platform pilots with FutureLearn, and a New Zealand “Owned” Platform pilot.

Learn more about the Online Pilots

New Products & Services

  • Work with the sector and pilot group to refine, test and inform the design, processes and criteria for the New Products and Services programme (Jul 2021 - Feb 2022)

  • Lessons from pilot projects used to inform International Education Product Innovation Fund.  Round 1 open for proposals (Feb - Apr 2022)

  • Proposals assessed and successful applicants notified (Jun 2022)

Digital Delivery

  • Conduct Rented Platform pilot #1 with FutureLearn (Jun 2021 - Aug 2022)

  • Assess and review lessons from Rented Platform Pilot #1 (Oct - Nov 2021)

  • Governance review of Rented Platform pilot #1 (Dec 2021)

  • Develop proposal of NZ Owned Platform Pilot (Apr 2022)

  • Governance review of proposal for a NZ owned and branded platform pilot (Apr 2022)

New Products & Services

  • Explore, co-design and test new strategic products with key markets via Product Innovation Fund and Pilot Project Partners (Jul 2022 - Jun 2023)

  • First progress report due back from project partners (Dec 2022)

  • Final progress reports due back from project partners (Jun 2023)

Digital Delivery

  • Conduct and review Rented Platform Pilot #2 with FutureLearn (Jun-Nov 2022)

  • Scope and plan NZ Owned and Branded Platform Pilot (Sep - Nov 2022)

  • Establish NZ Owned and Branded Platform Pilot (Nov 2022 - Jun 2023)

New Products & Services Offshore Delivery

  • Assess lessons from all Pilots and Projects (Jul 2023)

Digital Delivery

  • Assess lessons from NZ Owned Platform Pilot (Jul 2023)

Overall Products & Services Diversification Programme

  • Next Steps report to Governance (Sep 2023)