Tucked away in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is steadily adding “quality international education” to its list of reputations that include breath-taking landscapes, adventure tourism, and unique Maori culture.
Filipinos, in fact, are among the growing population of international students flocking to this island nation. Education New Zealand (ENZ), the New Zealand government’s education agency in the Philippines, reported that over 3,500 young Filipinos are currently taking advantage of New Zealand’s quality education, and the number has been rising significantly in recent years.
“The Philippines is currently our second largest market for high-quality international students in Southeast Asia,” ENZ’s Regional Communications and Strategic Relations Manager, Ben Burrowes shared.
Burrowes cites the rising middle-class, especially in key cities in the Philippines, as a main factor for the increase of Filipino students in New Zealand. Burrowes also notes that more young Filipinos see New Zealand as a top notch study destination which can ensure they eventually land promising careers.
“New Zealand’s education system is internationally-recognised, with all eight of our universities in the top three per cent in the world,” Burrowes shared. With a world-class education system, Filipinos graduates can be mobile, whether they choose to stay in New Zealand, go back home, or work overseas.
Imbibing the country’s culture of innovation, New Zealand’s education system encourages students to think independently, creatively, and analytically by striking a healthy balance between theory and practice. In fact, New Zealand ranked as having the highest performing graduates in the world, ahead of popular study destinations US, Canada, and England. This innovative teaching approach makes New Zealand produce “work-ready” graduates that are very attractive to potential employers.
What makes New Zealand even more appealing to young Filipinos is its welcoming environment. “New Zealand values and celebrates diversity as we acknowledge that this helps Kiwis broaden their perspectives and increase cultural awareness, especially since New Zealand is a relatively isolated country,” Burrowes said.
Auckland, one of the major cities in New Zealand and the 18th Best Student City, is the fourth most culturally diverse city in the world—even more so than melting pots London and New York. In addition, New Zealand is currently home to close to 60,000 Filipinos which equates to over one per cent of its total population.
To encourage more Filipinos to consider New Zealand as a study destination, the country also launched a Pathway visa for international students to make the progress from one program to another simpler. The Pathway student visa allows students to take up to three consecutive programs with selected education providers on a single visa that is valid for up to five years.
“We hope that with New Zealand’s outstanding education system and ENZ’s initiatives to support international students who want to study abroad, we can encourage more Filipinos to take advantage of their opportunities in this nation,” Burrowes said.