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Central Agencies' Overview

Education NZ was established in 2011 and the review notes its successes since then in building the New Zealand international education brand and in supporting providers in their student attraction efforts.

The central agencies agree with the reviewers’ findings and see the review as timely, given the dynamic environment for international education and the stage of development of Education NZ. Increasing global mobility of students and education delivery models that harness the opportunities of technology are changing the nature of education systems around the world. The content and desired outcomes of education are also changing, increasingly focusing on developing competencies for working in a more mobile labour market, and helping to solve global problems. The implications of this complex dynamic are as relevant to all New Zealand agencies’ roles across the education system, as they are for Education NZ’s particular focus on growing direct economic value to New Zealand from international students.

We encourage Education NZ’s acknowledged commitment to increasing its understanding of changes in educational thinking, design and delivery internationally, and to apply this to setting the strategic direction of its work. We see this as strengthening its value proposition as the ‘go to’ leader for international education in New Zealand.

A key message from the PIF review is that all government agencies working in the international education space need to be well connected to support Education NZ in achieving the Goals of the Leadership Statement for International Education. As well as a continuing focus on the Goal One target to increase the economic value of international education on-shore to $4.5 billion by 2025, this must include an increasing focus on delivery of education and sale of products and services offshore, ensuring that international education contributes to building needed skills in our work force, and to growing research capability and fostering wider economic connections internationally.

There is significant potential for other government agencies to provide greater support to Education NZ in its economic development role working with education products and services. The existing policy, regulatory and analytical capabilities, particularly in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Ministry of Education, need to contribute more effectively to ensuring policy and regulatory frameworks facilitate international education growth. Increased focus across agencies on data and analytics to improve information and research, and understanding of emerging education trends is also required.

This support will help Education NZ to develop a clearer view on the types of students that will add most value to the goals and the broader outcomes we are all seeking. We see that Education NZ’s developing leadership role will require it to build a greater ability to lead work across agencies, to articulate roles and priorities, and to address issues and risks within the international education sector.

As the central agencies we will do three things in particular in the short to medium term to help Education NZ in this developing leadership role and to ensure the government agencies working in the international education space are well connected. We will:

  • Drive a short term practical set of actions to support international education, through a Chief Executives’ forum of the key agencies involved in international education that will meet regularly for an initial period.
  • Produce a strategy and work programme coordinated across central government to support Education NZ and the targets for international education, through working with Education NZ to reframe the International Education Senior Officials Group (IESOG) as a forward focused leadership body for international education.
  • Assist Education NZ’s interactions with central government and put in place ongoing ways to work together better, by seconding system and business development capability to Education NZ for a set period.


Iain Rennie
State Services Commissioner

Gabriel Makhlouf
Secretary to the Treasury

Andrew Kibblewhite
Chief Executive, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Peter Hughes
Secretary for Education, Ministry of Education

David Smol
Chief Executive, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

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