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Times of India reporter Malini Sen, met Dr Rick Ede, Chief Executive, Unitec and INZBC Chair, Sunil Kaushal, in a recent trip to New Zealand. She was covering suuccess stories on International students coming from India, to get educated and settle here. Here are some excerpts:
The living curriculum
Malini Sen, TNN | Mar 31, 2014
During a tour of New Zealand, Malini Sen discovers that the country's focus on work-ready graduates is drawing students from India.
India is New Zealand's second largest and fastest-growing market for international students. New Zealand's focus on skilled graduates and employment pathways is making it a popular study abroad destination for students from India.
"According to Indian students, the big drawcard for them is the hands-on, practical approach New Zealand's education system has to offer. One student referred to it as a 'living curriculum.' Internships and industry placements are a common feature of the courses. So, students graduate equipped with internationally recognised skills, qualifications and experience to either start their ventures or enter the workforce, in India, New Zealand or anywhere in the world," says Grant McPherson, chief executive, Education New Zealand.
The 'living curriculum' resonates with most students. Jagjeet Singh from Mumbai found his dream job as a guide with an adventure tourism company after he enrolled in Queenstown Resort College. "The college is a bridge between your passion for adventure and the skills required to live your dream. The theory you learn within the confines of a classroom is applied in the most stunning settings of the Southern Alps," says Singh, adding, "I am on an essential skills work visa and I work for Ziptrek Ecotours; my job involves taking tourists on the world's steepest tree-to-tree zip-line."
Druhin Mukherjee from Kolkata, who teaches video games programming at the Media Design School in Auckland, echoes similar views, "Degree programme students will work across multiple game platforms using commercial grade middleware and development tools to gain a distinct professional edge. This allows them to confidently enter the industry as game developers, software engineers and network programmers." Some of the areas that New Zealand is known for include engineering, law, business, marine science , food technology, agriculture, communications and media studies, digital technology , IT, design and sports sciences.
Students from India chalk out varied career paths. "I came to New Zealand when it was only known for Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Rutherford and more popularly as a cricketing nation of Richard Hadlee who broke Kapil Dev's record," says Sunil Kaushal, head of India relations at ANZ Bank, Auckland. "Education provided me an opportunity to learn about the country and its culture. My first job was to milk 367 cows on my own, something you cannot imagine back in India. Working at the grassroots gave me an insight into the economy and how world class technology can assist developing nations. These experiences have aided me in my current role at ANZ and as the chairman of the India New Zealand Business Council."
All education providers with international students in New Zealand have to sign up to the Code of Practice of Pastoral Care for International Students that sets out what standards of care education providers must provide to these students living and studying in the country. The framework covers minimum standards , good practice and student complaint procedures and the Code is administered by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
An international student is allowed to work part-time, for up to 20 hours per week, and full-time during scheduled holidays.
Kusum Chandrappa, an HR professional from Bangalore, who pursued a PG diploma in business administration from AUT University in Auckland, and is currently working with the New Zealand Human Rights Commission as an HR officer, says: "I wish to make the most of this opportunity to build my long-term career."
Given the rising cost to study abroad, students are looking for higher returns on their investment; where they can study and gain work experience.