The Future Focus Programme is a new initiative which will provide $200,000 per sector in funding to help peak bodies seed innovation projects.

The school, university, private training establishment, polytechnic, English language, and education products and services sectors are all being supported through this program.

“We really want every student that comes to New Zealand to feel valued”

The funding is to be used by peak bodies to develop an innovation plan for their sector, and to initiate innovation projects in the areas of product development, online delivery, new business models and the development of innovation capability.

Through this support, ENZ said it “wishes to encourage sectors to adopt new ways of working to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 or similarly unprecedented events”.

“The Future Focus Programme is a tangible way in which ENZ can help support sectors to shape their future in the ‘new normal’ post Covid-19,” ENZ general manager – Partnerships & Marketing, Paul Irwin, said.

“The program is additional to our normal activities and is designed with a clear focus on innovation – part of Goal 2 of the New Zealand International Education Strategy.

With all the uncertainty we are currently facing, this program is an opportunity to take stock of what Covid-19 means for how international education can operate in the future and develop new products, services, behaviours and models to help us be more resilient to change.”

ENZ is working alongside peak bodies as they develop their innovation plans and identify prospective innovation projects. These plans and projects will be agreed over the coming weeks. ​

Delivery timeframes will vary according to the peak body and the scale and nature of the projects they initiate, but projects are expected to be implemented over the coming 12 to 18 months.

ENZ has also announced that the International Student Hardship Fund has now been fully allocated, having approved a total of 105 applications and assisted approximately 11,000 international students in temporary hardship.

“At ENZ we talk a lot about manaakitanga – the offering of hospitality and respect to guests. We really want every student that comes to New Zealand to feel valued,” said ENZ director of Student Experience and Global Citizens, Sahinde Pala.

“It was obvious once the impacts of Covid-19 began to be felt here that we needed to offer our international students most in need extra support during these difficult times.”

However, international students in New Zealand experiencing serious hardship will now be able to receive support with basic needs such as food and accommodation thanks to the new Assistance for Foreign Nationals impacted by Covid-19 Programme.

This $37.6 million fund will open on July 1 and be administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.

International education contributes $4.94 billion to New Zealand’s economy and is New Zealand’s fifth largest export earner, supporting 45,040 jobs.

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