Education New Zealand (ENZ) and New Zealand Consulate-General on January 26 presented the Global Competence Certificate (GCC) to 25 Vietnamese students from the IGC Group’s schools.
This initiative is led by ENZ in cooperation with various partners in New Zealand and Vietnam, aiming at equipping young people with skills for the future while strengthening educational ties between the two countries, despite the distance and travel limitations caused by the pandemic.
In 2018, New Zealand launched the 2018-2030 International Education Strategy that sets out developing global citizens as one of the three overarching goals. Not only focuses on developing skills for local and international students in New Zealand, the government and New Zealand institutions are also making efforts to promote knowledge and cultural exchange between “future global citizens” from New Zealand and other countries.
Accordingly, ENZ has offered scholarships to 25 outstanding Vietnamese students in grade 9 and 10 to participate in the Global Competence Certificate (GCC) – a credible online program provided by AFS - a global not-for-profit network. Scholarship winners were selected based on their academic performance and English proficiency level (above IELTS 5.0), passion for researching global issues and exploring different cultures, and interest in participating in knowledge exchange and self-development activities.
This program is designed as a four-week online course, including 18 self-learning online modules, in various formats such as quizzes, animated videos, assignments, interactive games, and 4 interactive discussion sessions between Vietnamese and New Zealand students instructed by facilitators from Massey University and supported by local teachers. Through this, 25 Vietnamese students and 26 New Zealand students from 5 Manawatū schools studied together and formed strong connections amidst the international travel restrictions.
Structured around four main themes including Self-Awareness, Awareness about others, Emotional Intelligence and Bridges to others, the GCC has opened up a new horizon for the learners, assisting them to grow a set of skills that New Zealand education targets - that is, an openminded-mindset, the ability to embrace change and think outside the box, critical thinking, and readiness to solve difficult life problems.
Ms. Karlene Davis, the New Zealand Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City highly said: “These 25 students are the first group of students in Vietnam being awarded scholarships to join the GCC course with our students in New Zealand."
"Our New Zealand teachers and students have sincerely complimented them all and expressed their hope to meet them personally one day. When it is safe to travel internationally, I hope we can run this kind of skills-for-the-future programme on site with Vietnamese students visiting New Zealand and vice versa. We need global citizens so that we can tackle global issues of the 21st century, such as sustainability, globalization and climate change.”
New Zealand and Vietnam have had a long-term partnership in education, starting with the Colombo Plan in 1960. Throughout the 45 years of bilateral collaboration, the two countries have achieved noticeable milestones, particularly: the Collaboration Arrangement signed between ENZ and the Ho Chi Minh City DOET (January 2019), and the Hanoi DOET (October 2019), as well as the Renewed Strategic Engagement Plan with Viet Nam’s Ministry of Education and Training signed on July 2020.
For the past few years, New Zealand’s education system has been ranked first among English-speaking countries and third in the world for delivering a future-focused education, according to the Worldwide Educating for the Future Index by Economic Intelligence Unit. New Zealand has become a preferred study abroad destination for international students including Vietnam. Until the end of 2019, there were 3,040 Vietnamese students in New Zealand, an increase of 10 per cent compared to the previous year, with 28 per cent students studying in schools and 35 per cent in universities.
Vietnam has started to emerge as the latest Asian nation with a strengthening position in the region, and a future high potential for economic growth,
Vietnam and New Zealand have cemented new ties with the latest signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and the strategic partnership between both nations.