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NZ: university benchmark for int’l operations

A national benchmark strategy measuring international operations at universities in New Zealand is in initial development stages.

Auckland in New Zealand, a hub for international students in the country. Photo: Allan Bergman

The company is also in the process of developing an international benchmark programme

Higher education institutions are working together with Universities New Zealand, and Studymove, an education marketing consultancy company, to gauge their strategies, operations and performance in both student recruitment and outbound mobility.

“New Zealand universities have some previous experience benchmarking our international recruitment and operations, however, this is the first time we are working on a new measure to capture the outbound learning mobility of New Zealand students.” Sharon Calvert, chair of the Forum for International Managers and Directors, told The PIE News.

“This is the first time we are working on a new measure to capture the outbound learning mobility of New Zealand students”

Metrics will analyse the type of international students coming to the university, source countries, as well as recruitment channels.

International operations including international office budgets and how human and financial resources are allocated will also be gauged.

The project is in the initial stages of development and universities are currently being consulted on the draft questionnaire said Calvert.

The final product will allow universities to anonymously compare themselves to other players in the sector.

“It’s just for them to know where they are sitting in the market but without seeing where are the others,” said Keri Ramirez, managing director of Studymove.

“But what we point as a reference point is the average median of the whole group, which you can see ‘okay I’m in the average, I’m above the average’, that’s really helpful for them.”

The methodology will follow similar benchmarks developed by Studymove in the US and in Australia.

The company is also in the process of developing an international benchmark programme, which is expected to be piloted later on this year.

“It gives you a different perspective of what’s happening and not benchmarking in a national scale,” said Ramirez.

“It’s interesting to see if for instance a policy like here in Australia, we had the New Colombo Plan, or in America they have a couple of initiatives like 100,000 Strong, if that’s really having an impact on this particular university.”

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