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NZ: Wellington celebrates intn’l students

A documentary filmmaker, a Marvel series animator and a co-founder of the New Zealand International Students Association are among 12 international students that have been awarded by the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency for their achievements.

NZ playwright and actor Jacob Rajan presents Yuki Sugito (Japan) with the Arts & Culture awardFamed NZ playwright and actor Jacob Rajan presents Yuki Sugito (Japan) with the Arts & Culture award. Photo: WREDA

"It not only speaks volumes about the students’ abilities and work ethics, but also about the quality of education and mentorship they are receiving in Wellington"

The second annual Wellington International Student Excellence Awards was held earlier this month as part of WREDA’s Wellington International Student Growth Programme.

WISGP is a multi-year initiative to attract more students, build capacity in the education sector and enhance the student experience.

Narrowed down from 52 entries, the 12 winners across six categories received a trophy, certificate, and tickets to a Wellington experience.

To enter, applicants were required to have studied at an educational institution in Wellington for four months or more and had to submit two written references and supplementary documents.

Speaking at the ceremony, WREDA’s talent, skills, and education manager Brook Pannell said the student’s achievements highlight the quality of the education available in Wellington.

“All the award winners have worked hard to excel in a range of fields at secondary and tertiary level, from academic excellence and leadership to sport and community engagement,” Pannell said.

WREDA is aiming to double the number of international students arriving in Wellington by 2025

“It not only speaks volumes about the students’ abilities and work ethics, but also about the quality of education and mentorship they are receiving in Wellington.”

Wellington’s international student population is growing faster than in any other of New Zealand’s main regions.

Through WISGP, WREDA is aiming to double the number of international students arriving in Wellington by 2025.

“The exposure Wellington gets when international students tell their family and friends about their positive experiences…the value of this kind of word-of-mouth promotion is incalculable but valuable,” said Pannell.

He added that international students living in Wellington spend NZ$33,179 on average per year but the benefits run much deeper.

“A good proportion of students set up their home in Wellington where they continue to work and develop their talents in areas of shortage for our region.”

The latest immigration data showed Wellington experienced 9% growth in its total student visas for the year to September 2017.

Waikato had the second highest growth at 6%, while Auckland experienced a 1% fall over the same period.

New Zealand is currently developing a new strategy for international education.

However it is unclear whether the recent change in government will have an impact on the final document.

See the full list of Wellington International Student Excellence Awards 2017 winners here.

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