Government partnership opens up 15 million opportunities for NZ education providers

In a post-COVID-19 world education looks different - and this new platform may help redefine it
In a post-COVID-19 world education looks different - and this new platform may help redefine it Photo credit: Getty Images

Fifteen New Zealand education providers will have access to up to 15 million global learners thanks to a new online learning partnership announced today.

Government agency Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) has entered into a deal with FutureLearn, a platform partly owned by the Open University in the UK.

It allows major education providers like University of Otago, University of Waikato and AUT - as well as more focused organisations such as VR Voom and The Mind Lab - to trial a new way of delivering training to overseas students without having to invest in their own platforms.

Training will include 3D modelling and animation, introductory Te Reo, sustainability in the New Zealand wine industry and more.

Aotearoa's country-branded platform will be launched to nearly 500 international education stakeholders this week as part of ENZ's Partners' Workshop Week.

"This is a key step in Education New Zealand's strategy to take a New Zealand education experience to more learners, without the need to get on a plane," said ENZ's general manager of partnerships and marketing Paul Irwin.

"[It] will enable us to learn and make adjustments as we diversify the way we deliver as well as continuing to reshape what international education looks like in a post-COVID-19 world. 

"The sustainability-themed courses also enable us to test interest in study relating to global causes where New Zealand has expertise."

Learners get access to the courses for free and can choose to pay to upgrade if they want to receive a digital certificate on course completion or to get longer access to the court material. The courses average around seven hours of learning.

The Mind Lab founder Frances Valintine said ENZ's partnership is removing barriers for Kiwi education providers.

"This is exciting for the New Zealand sector as we broaden our reach from onshore delivery to online," Valintine said.