New Zealand - An ‘Overseas Paradise’ for Vietnamese Students

Received the Scholarship of Achievement for international students, Victoria Wellington University, Thi Nguyen, the Vietnamese student shared: “New Zealand is among the most peaceful countries in the world and studying here has brought me some of my most valuable life experiences.”
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an overseas paradise for vietnamese students
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Perhaps, Thi Nguyen’s feeling is shared by many other overseas students and former students who once studying and researching in this wonderful country. Not only having a world-class education system, but New Zealand is also a multi-cultural country and has always welcome the diversity that international students brought to the schools and native communities.

The bridge of education cooperation

In fact, Vietnam has been among the top 3 in Southeast Asia for the number of overseas students in New Zealand, with 2,772 students currently pursuing education here. In 2016, almost half of the Vietnamese students in New Zealand pursued Bachelor's degrees, while the number of students pursuing higher degrees (Master, Doctorate) took up to a third. The amount of high school international students has risen by 39% in 2018 and continued to flourish.

Specifically, a lot of New Zealand schools have been offering joint degrees with their partner schools in Vietnam. This is among the efforts to bring students of Vietnam to access New Zealand’s developed education.

The Victoria Wellington University has provided several joint degrees with a Bachelor and Master’s degree such as the joint Bachelor’s degree of Commerce with the University of Economics of HCMC (UEH), the joint Bachelor’s degree of International Relations with the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, the joint Master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Language (TESOL) with the HCMC University of Education.

Meanwhile, Massey University has offered many joint degrees with UEH, including education programs for Master’s degree in Finance, Business Administration (majoring in Human Resources) and Bachelor's degree in Business Administration. In addition, the Massey University has also expanded cooperation in organizing sightseeing trips and exchanging with students from Vietnam–Germany High School, as well as skill-learning programs with teachers and mini-programs for Education and Language education with the University of An Giang.

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The Auckland University of Technology has recently offered a joint Bachelor’s degree with the National University of Ha Noi, Ha Noi University and Posts and Telecommunications Institute of Technology. Moreover, along with the UEH, Waikato University have established the English Center of UEH – Waikato and simultaneously introduced the semi-overseas program (2 years in Vietnam + 1 – 2 years in New Zealand) for the Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. 2017 also marked the 10th anniversary of cooperation between AUT and Ho Chi Minh City University of Science with the joint Bachelor's degrees in Computer Science. Currently, Waikato University and the Vietnam Security Academy had signed an agreement on offering joint degrees in majors such as Cyber Security, Law, Computer Science and Environmental Security.

Over the years, the New Zealand Aid Programme in Vietnam had prioritized Vietnam in developing human resources and education. In specific, the New Zealand – ASEAN scholarships for post-graduate degrees focused on courses in areas related to New Zealand and ASEAN. In this program, Vietnam has been provided with 30 scholarships per year. Since 1994, 274 individuals from Vietnam have been awarded these prestigious scholarships from the Government of New Zealand.

With the New Zealand English Language Training for Officials Programme (ELTO), 10 officials would attend the English course of particular subjects for 22 weeks in New Zealand. Until now, 485 Vietnamese government officials have attended the ELTO Programme in New Zealand.

Notably, in 2019, Education New Zealand (ENZ), an agency under the Government of New Zealand specialized in the field of international education, had signed the Memorandums of Cooperation in Education with Ha Noi Department of Education and the HCMC Department of Education.

On the College level alone, the number of Vietnamese students in New Zealand has been among the top 5.

By July 2017, the number of Visa provided for Vietnamese students for the first time has increased by 64% in comparison to 2016, while the annual growth rate is about 29%.

… and golden opportunities

Currently, there are 131,000 international students in New Zealand. Notably, all of New Zealand universities are included among the top 3% of the best universities in the world, in accordance with the QS Ranking of the best Universities. Economic Intelligence Unit also ranked New Zealand first in the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index in 2017, with the Global Peace Index 2017 ranked the country as the second most peaceful English-speaking nation on the world.

With overseas students, New Zealand is the first country to provide Pastoral Care of International Students. Recent surveys and polls among international students have been extremely positive. The satisfaction percentage of students participating in the International Student Barometer (IBS) in 2014- 2015 reached 94%.

Chinh Vinh Le, a former Vietnamese student with a Master’s degree in Data Science from Otago University stated that the friendly and heart-warming studying environment in New Zealand has greatly assisted him to quickly integrate into the international students’ lives: “People of New Zealand are very friendly and enthusiastic. Thanks to their support and assistance, I had quickly accustomed to living here.”

My Nguyen – a former student of Auckland University and is currently the manager at Trilect Company – New Zealand, responsible for the maintenance of electricity for Government buildings. With her, the time studying in Auckland University has equipped her with the necessary academic knowledge and social skills for her jobs. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce, she had a firm understanding of the flow of the market, how to run a business, and most importantly, how to adapt to the practical working environment in New Zealand.

Since July 2017, three Centres of Asia – Pacific Excellence have been established and funded by the Government of New Zealand to increase cultural knowledge and economic cooperation between New Zealand and Southeast Asia, East Asia and Latin – American regions. Moreover, New Zealand is encouraging native students to study abroad, specifically in the ASEAN region.

Since 2013, more than 700 New Zealand students have been awarded scholarships in Asian countries through the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Scholarships. The country hoped that there would be more New Zealand students seek to pursue their educations all over the world through partnerships established between New Zealand universities and other universities across the world, including Vietnam.

“The experience of studying in New Zealand not only honed my professional skills but also expanded my vision in global issues, therefore prepared me to face the local challenges.”

Doan Thanh Hai, a former student of NZAS and is currently the project leader of the Centre for Social Initiatives Promotion (CSIP) – a non-governmental organization in Vietnam.

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