More and more Filipinos are studying in New Zealand, making the Philippines its fifth largest source market for its education sector.
During Tuesday's roundtable discussion, Ben Burrowes of Education New Zealand (ENZ) said a total of 3,643 Filipino students studied in New Zealand last year, or 1,648 more than the total number in 2014.
"We believe that bolstering our education ties with the Philippines will be essential to cultivate an international student experience among Filipinos, and will in years to come, contribute greatly to strengthening cultural and business links between the two countries," sai Burrows, ENZ'S regional communications and strategic relations manager in Southeast Asia.
He said most of the Filipino students in New Zealand in 2015 took health-related studies, management and commerce, and society and culture.
In encouraging more Filipinos to study in New Zealand, Burrowes said in addition to having international experience and a degree, students there also developed a wide range of soft skills such as "inter-cultural communication, openness to new challenges, and decision-making skills."
Aside from being considered for post-graduate scholarships for certain courses, Filipinos are also qualified to apply for the Pathway Student Visa program, which allows students to "undertake up to three consecutive programmes of study with selected education providers on a single visa, which is valid for up to five years."
Burrowes announced that the New Zealand government earmarked USD$592 million in new funding for "various regional development initiatives, with much of it flowing into the university sector."
"New Zealand further aims to improve its global competitiveness and attractiveness among its markets, including the Philippines, especially with the Government’s fresh funding for its education sector," he said.
"Such investments give our students access to world-class researchers and facilities,” he added. —KBK, GMA News