NZ Universities Hoping to Attract Indonesian Students
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean is blessed with vast, picturesque landscapes, friendly people and a mild climate.
“New Zealand is a very, very safe country,” said Frances Little, director of the Auckland University of Technology International Student Center. “Violence is not common. Our police don’t carry guns.”
Being such a peaceful and orderly country has also made New Zealand an ideal place to pursue higher education.
“The investment in university education is very significant,” said AUT pro vice-chancellor international Prof. Nigel Hemmington. “And students want to be sure that they’re paying for an education that will be top class. They can be confident of doing that in New Zealand.”
The country has eight universities, all owned and managed by the state. Seven of the total eight universities in New Zealand, including AUT, are ranked among the top 500 universities in the world in the QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) World University Rankings in 2012.
“The good news for Indonesian students is that they can go to any university in New Zealand and it will be a good university,” Hemmington said.
Today, AUT is the second largest university in New Zealand. The university boasts two large campuses in the city, world-class facilities and more than 26,000 domestic and international students.
Currently, there are 15 study areas in the university, including art and design, business, engineering, health sciences and hospitality and tourism studies.
All these studies are available for bachelor’s, master’s and post graduate degrees.
Four thousand of AUT’s students are international students. Many of them come from Asian countries, including China, India and Indonesia.
Currently, there are 39 Indonesian students studying in AUT.
“Predominantly, [Indonesian students] are taking bachelor’s degree in business,” Little said. “However, there’s a significant number in the hospitality and design [studies].”
In the upcoming years, AUT will provide more access for Indonesian students to study in the university.
“AUT has been working in Indonesia for over 15 years now,” Hemmington said. “We have a very good relationship with universities in Indonesia and have shown our commitment to Indonesia as our partner country.”
Over the past 15 years, AUT has conducted study, research and collaborative programs with Universitas Airlangga in Surabaya, East Java, as well as Universitas Paramadina, Binus University and University of Indonesia in Jakarta.
With Binus University, AUT has created the unique 2+2 program that enables more access for Indonesian students.
“In the program, Indonesian students can study at Binus for the first two years of their study and then come to AUT for the final two years,” Hemmington said.
The 2+2 program is currently available for computing and hospitality studies only.
Last week, AUT signed a Letter of Intent with Indonesia’s Directorate General of Higher Education (Dikti) to sponsor Indonesian lecturers obtaining their PhD degrees at AUT on full scholarships.
In the program, Dikti will fund the tuition fees and living costs for the first three years for Indonesian PhD students. AUT will cover them during the fourth.
“We’re looking to expand the number of PhD students coming to New Zealand, who will then come back to Indonesia and work in their universities here,” said Little.
Besides the program, all Indonesian students getting their PhDs in New Zealand universities, including AUT, will pay domestic tuition fees of NZ$6,000 ($5,030) per year.
The international tuition fees at AUT are around NZ$25,000 per year. And the living costs are around NZ$12,000 per year.
“But students are allowed to work 20 hours per week when they’re studying in New Zealand,” Little said. “So, they’ll be able to earn money to put towards their study.”
AUT currently holds the highest graduate employability rate among universities in New Zealand. About 95 percent of their graduates are already employed in fields related to their studies.
“Once they’ve completed their studies, they’re given two years in which they can find a job related to their degrees,” Little said. “If they can find a job, they can file for permanent residency.”
AUT takes in new students twice a year. The next intakes are in February and July.
AUT will also participate in the New Zealand Education Fair held in Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan in March 2013.
New Zealand Education