Q: Tell us about the work “Education New Zealand” plans to do in India.
Ziena Jalil – International Education is very exciting industry at the moment. There is a lot changing around the world with new courses, student mobility etc. The agency that I work for Education New Zealand, it’s a New Zealand government agency that was setup only two years ago.
Our role is to take New Zealand education experiences to the world. We are looking at three key areas in particular; Firstly, supporting international students who are interested to study in New Zealand. Secondly, focusing on taking New Zealand education programmes like science, technology to the world. The third part that is very important and that covers the first two areas is the government. So my role for example as a diplomat is to work on building a bilateral education relationship with the Indian government.
Q: How Important is India is a market for New Zealand?
Ziena Jalil – Education is very important to the New Zealand Economy. It’s the fifth largest export area for New Zealand. It currently contributes $2.6 Billion to our economy.
In terms of numbers, we get the largest number of students from China. We get our second largest number of students from India. India is also very important to us because it is our fastest growing market at the moment.
We really believe that India is about growth for us. More than 200,000 Indian students go overseas to study. Currently we get just about 5% of that number. Having said that there is a lot of interest in New Zealand and we are getting more interest from the western and southern states in India.
In the last five years, we have registered 190% increase in the Indian students to New Zealand. Hindi is the fourth most commonly spoken language in New Zealand. Festivals like Diwali are celebrated in university campuses and around New Zealand. In terms of the profile of the Indian student, more than half of them study in Auckland. In terms of the subject choices, most Indian students go to study commerce, followed by IT engineering, hospitality and health.
Q: ENZ has setup an office in Mumbai. What is the objective of the same?
Ziena Jalil – In the last six months here, we have substantially increased the level of activity in India across the government relation aspect, the work with the corporate, Indian institutions and also with the students. We thought it was about time that we had someone based in Mumbai. Currently our whole team works out of Delhi. But we are putting some one with an education portfolio in Mumbai, based here within the New Zealand consulate to support the southern and western part of the country.
Part II of the interview can be read here.