In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2017 Worldwide Educating for the Future Index, New Zealand’s education system gained the top global ranking for delivering a future-focussed education. The Future Index measures how effectively countries provide young people with the skill sets they need to succeed in the future. This includes the teaching of interdisciplinary, creative and analytical skills, and entrepreneurial and leadership skills.
The index also highlights the importance of an inquiry-based approach to learning, industry collaboration and the need for technology-rich curricula. The country performs well on all these scores, due to the high quality curriculum framework, teacher education, cultural diversity and tolerance. With a high-performing tertiary sector, all eight New Zealand universities are ranked among the top 3% percent of universities in the QS World University Rankings 2018.
They also rank in the world’s top 100 in 39 out of possible 46 subjects. The institutes of technology and polytechnics also teach a wide range of vocational programmes, with strong links to their respective industries. New Zealand’s education particularly excels in areas that combine technology and creativity – such as the sciences, building and architecture, engineering, filmmaking and design.
Several tertiary courses and programmes offer students the chance to take up work placements and internships, enabling them to gain real-world skills and develop connections with industry and academia.
Learning in diversity
The country is fair, free and embraces multiculturalism. Its diversity is greater than most European countries, being home to more than 120,000 international students from across 180 countries. The result is a deep understanding and appreciation for all people and their history. New Zealand offers considerable opportunities to experience new ways of life and learn the local language, among other cultural experiences. Overseas students leave New Zealand with a new perspective on culture, improved language skills, and a world-class education. Each of these will prove to be an asset to any future employer.
A new lifestyle
A new country offers the chance to explore new interests that could turn into an undiscovered hobby. New Zealand is an ideal destination for young people as it provides a variety of adventure activities. These include hiking, water sports, bungee jumping and various other activities for the dare devils out there. Alongside enjoying some adventure, students are encouraged to enrol in the many outdoor education courses offered at both the PG and UG levels.
On completing their courses in New Zealand, students leave their studies work-ready, keen to overcome the everyday challenges that they are likely to face in the corporate world. Students gain the right amount of knowledge, confidence and experience they need to jump straight into the job market.
Opportunity to be a global citizen
International education is the investment of a lifetime. Not only does it provide valuable knowledge, but it also offers worldly experiences that can have a major impact on a student’s worldview and attitude.
The student who is able to experience the privilege of an international education becomes sensitised about the current world issues and therefore develops a stronger understanding of their global environment.