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NZ: schools peak body to be a “voice for the sector”

A new peak body that will provide support to K-12 schools active in New Zealand’s international sector launched this month and is looking for more businesses to join its 15 founding members. The association will help further develop internationalisation within New Zealand schools, many of which already work significantly with the international market.

The formation of a peak body for schools in the international education sector was proposed by Education New Zealand in its Strategic Roadmap.

"Education New Zealand is looking forward to working strategically with an industry-led body that will lead, connect and grow the sector"

The Schools International Education Business Association has pledged to become a “voice for the sector”, providing advocacy as well as supporting members in their recruitment and internationalisation efforts.

“I see wonderful opportunities for principals to grow their international student numbers and lead strategically with knowledge, support, and insight”

The association will provide resources and advice to help schools increase their overseas student intake, along with a template and document library, and act as a forum for sharing best practice and accessing collaborative projects.

The not-for-profit, registered incorporated society will provide industry analysis and benchmarking and develop an associated marketing plan, creating a unified sector brand that will help schools market themselves abroad.

Education New Zealand has welcomed SIEBA’s formation and encouraged schools to join.

“Many New Zealand schools see international education as an important part of what they do,” commented Grant McPherson, ENZ’s chief executive. “Education New Zealand is looking forward to working strategically with an industry-led body that will lead, connect and grow the sector.”

The establishment of a peak body for schools was one strategy laid out in ENZ’s schools sector Strategic Roadmap as New Zealand strives to double the value of its international education sector to NZ$5bn in the 14 years leading up to 2025.

Its goal is to “increase the ability of schools to coordinate change and drive quality”, the roadmap states.

“As a foundation member of SIEBA I see wonderful opportunities for principals to grow their international student numbers, connect with other schools around the Code of Practice and policies, and lead strategically with knowledge, support, and insight around international education,” commented Anne-Marie Biggs, principal of Glendowie Primary School in Auckland.

SIEBA membership is open to all New Zealand schools that are signed up to the country’s Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students.

Annual association membership will cost NZ$750 for primary schools and $1,500 for secondary schools, with membership rates available.

SIEBA is in the process of hiring an executive director, and members will appoint a new governance board at the association’s first AGM in June.

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