Studying in New Zealand can be life-changing. Here’s why
A melting point of cultures, New Zealand is a peaceful country with a growing economy; besides being an ideal study destination
Hello from New Zealand, where it’s never really hot, never really cold, and where COVID-19 has only dented the economy, and our daily life is back to normal, within the country. Our beer shops are open, our universities have face-to-face sessions and our cows still give milk! We watch with sadness India and other countries, where people still suffer, and we send our best wishes. You will get through this, like we did.
Students from India do not choose a country to study merely because of the high quality of the education (all 8 New Zealand universities are state-run and within the top 500 in the world’s QS Ranking), but because there is a future in the country for residence, for safe integration and for prosperity.
A quick virtual tour of the Massey University’s Auckland campus
When I sit with students and parents in India, from Delhi to Goa, from Chennai to Vadodara, in the small Kochi or the large Mumbai, ONE question is always asked: What will happen AFTER the studies? The study fees in New Zealand are far less than in many other countries, so it is not the tuition fees or reasonably low living costs that are a concern, but: What are the chances for Mandeep or Hitesh, to stay in New Zealand and to begin a good life there?
There are three elements to this answer: Politics, Economy and People. So, let’s have the PEP talk:
New Zealand (NZ) is boring. Although we have elections every three years, tempers never flare. The members of our small Parliament don’t beat each other up, and we have no bribery and corruption. So, regardless of the election outcome (the next election is in mid-October and will return the current Government to power), the politics in NZ remain pretty much the same. For students and prospective immigrants, the pathway is very simple and straight-forward: You complete your Bachelors or Masters studies, get a 3-year post-study open work visa (you work anywhere you like and you can change employers as you like), you achieve a ‘skilled’ job within that 3-year period, and you send in an Expression of Interest to be invited to apply for residence. You need 160 points (and 161 points give you no better chances) to be invited.
So, let’s do the math real quick, and you can see how boring this really is: A student under the age of 40 gets 30 points. Studying a Masters’ degree is worth 70 points, and one from NZ is worth an extra 10 points, and a skilled job offer is worth 50 points. Now you are at 160 points, all done and dusted (some other requirements as to health and character apply, but are not an issue for most students). There is no ‘President’ who changes his mind daily and makes up new rules, there are no quotas, there is no policy to keep out foreigners – New Zealand is a first-world country on two small islands next to 50 million penguins in the Antarctic. We need quality people to staff our country and to remain prosperous – and we know it is foreigners we need the most.
If there is no money to earn, there will be no jobs, and money comes from international trade. No country ever became successful by only trading within its borders. Small Germany is successful, large Russia is not. Small NZ is very successful economically. Pre-COVID, our unemployment rate was just below 4%, which is full employment, and we are still well below 10% in the midst of the COVID-19 uncertainty.
We expect that by early 2022, we will be back to around 4% of unemployment, so anyone beginning to study in 2021 will graduate into a successful, booming economy. How can a country with 5 million people and 40 million sheep, be so successful? It’s the food. The world has to eat, and NZ has the luxury to export 97% of its food – from a country known to grow clean and safe food. You may not take a cruise next year or buy the newest Mercedes, but you do want fresh safe apples from New Zealand on your table, healthy Manuka honey from New Zealand in your tea, and cheese made from New Zealand milk melting on your naan.
Massey University has a diversity of students from different cultures
It is young managers with multi-cultural backgrounds who are most desirable for New Zealand firms, because its two small islands pack a big punch globally. Our other well-earning exports are tourism and education, and we expect international students to arrive again in 2021, and tourism to follow. It’s all good in small New Zealand.
25% of all New Zealanders are foreign-born, and Hindi is the 4th most-often spoken language in the country. This makes NZ a comfortable melting pot of cultures, and everyone settles in quickly next to someone from Australia, Germany or South Africa. At Massey University, many of our professors are from overseas and they bring their global expertise with them. I have run very large global firms for more than 30 years, and like many of my Massey colleagues, I teach what I do, not what I read. New Zealand people expect practical contributions from graduates, not abstract academic achievements. If you do good work no one bothers you, and you can have a comfortable life in this small country.
Aerial view of Massey University
Keep in mind that many NZ businesses are small. Most have fewer than 25 staff, and they still earn good money, pay great wages and prosper. But – in small firms everyone does more than one thing. The marketing manager also helps with sales; the Finance Director helps with purchasing; the HR manager also edits sales brochures. That means your best chances for a job in New Zealand is NOT to be super-specialised. Most jobs require more general skills than highly specialised ones. Your IDP counsellor will know about the only 1-year MBA in New Zealand, which is a high-end generalist degree, and IDP knows about the many other degrees in New Zealand that help with getting a job early.
Remember, studying in New Zealand is not about doing what YOU like to do. It is about getting the best first job right out of university that gets you the next best job or promotion, that qualifies you for getting residence. Afterwards, you can do what you like: Study Russian dance, learn about butterflies or become a great saxophone player. Until you have residence, only the pathway to residence matters – and New Zealand is: Boring! Straight forward, non-political and totally predictable.
… and now, the last thought: In India, ‘institutes’ are very similar in quality to ‘universities’, and employers know that. In New Zealand ‘institutes/polytechnics’ are not at all at the level of ‘universities’ – and employers know that as well. The NZ polytechnics have just been moulded into one new state-run organisation to save them from losing more money than they already lose, and the future of their degrees is uncertain. Every HR manager in NZ knows the quality difference between a polytechnic and a university. Even if there is an INR 10 Lakh difference in tuition fees, how quickly would you earn that money back when a university degree gets you a job faster?
Now, I could not finish in good conscience, without telling you in a few words why Massey University is the largest university in New Zealand, and why it is so good, being ranked 272nd worldwide. Massey is in fact THREE universities, we operate a campus at three different locations, covering New Zealand well. We have the only veterinary and aviation school in New Zealand (those are separate schools, it’s not that our veterinarians fly the planes), our science and engineering schools are world-class – and our Massey Business School is one of the most practical business schools in the world, with a strong connection to corporate leaders who often co-teach our courses. At Massey you get a university education that is tailored to what New Zealand employers want and need. I look forward to seeing you at Massey University soon!
|Embrace the new normal with IDP|
Updated on September 17, 2020
Professor Dr. Jens Mueller – Massey University
Professor Dr. Jens Mueller works at Massey University, the largest university in New Zealand, which is ranked 272nd in the world. He has more than 30 years of CEO/Chair experience in large global firms from $1 Million to $1 Billion and has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for achievements in education and business, by Queen Elizabeth.