By Rohan Rego, Client Relations Manager, New Zealand, Middle East Region
During October I was fortunate to visit New Zealand after the Australian International Education Conference in Adelaide. It was a wonderful opportunity, and enabled me to experience first-hand why New Zealand is one of the most sought-after study destinations for international students.
My journey started in Auckland where I visited the University of Auckland (the highest ranked NZ university – within the top 100), and some foundation and pathway providers – the ACG Colleges and Taylors College. A wealth of information was shared and I toured the facilities that international students get to enjoy. I was very impressed to see how multicultural, buzzing and vibrant Auckland is, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the Indian festival of Diwali being celebrated with support from The Auckland City Council. This reinforced to me that New Zealand appreciates and welcomes people from all ethnic backgrounds.
My second stop, travelling from the North Island to the South was Dunedin, where I visited The University of Otago. Spectacular topography and plenty of open space showed me how different the two islands are and the diversity New Zealand has to offer students.
The University of Otago campus was very stately, living up to its status as the oldest university in New Zealand (founded in 1869). Its grandeur reflected the quality and the strong traditional values the university has had since its foundation. Dunedin itself is surrounded by beautiful countryside that gives it a unique sense of tranquillity, making it appealing to many students.
My last stop was Christchurch. I was keen to see how the city was being reshaped, four years after the earthquake. The resilience of its people to move forward was clearly visible everywhere. I learnt that Christchurch is also called the garden city as it has more than 700 gardens, which was such a contrast to the drier landscape in the Middle East.
I visited Lincoln University, the third-oldest university in the country, and was impressed at how it has branded itself as a specialist university in agriculture. This contrasted with the more traditional University of Canterbury, my last institutional visit. Founded in 1873 and the second-oldest university in the country, Canterbury was established by scholars from Oxford and Cambridge, reflecting its history and reputation. The University of Canterbury offers an attractive campus and great facilities.
My time in New Zealand and the institutions I visited reinforced the high-quality education provided and the very safe and welcoming environment offered to international students.
Upon my return to the Middle East, I was able to brief my teams across the region about my experience and what I learnt while in New Zealand. The Middle East marketing team has also launched a program for New Zealand specialist counsellors to highlight New Zealand’s varied benefits, including its quality programs that are globally recognised, safety, competitive tuition fees, future work and migration opportunities following graduation. All this plus New Zealand being such a beautiful scenic location to pursue one’s studies – it is an attractive proposition that the Middle East team are now better informed to share with students.
We are indeed fortunate that IDP represents such a diverse range of institutions across New Zealand which provides a range of options for our students. Moving forward, IDP Middle East will be conducting New Zealand targeted campaigns to continue building the country’s profile in our region.
For more information about marketing and promotion opportunities in the Middle East, please contact Rohan Rego.