New initiatives to encourage global connections for students

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Massey University has teamed up with AFS and Education New Zealand (ENZ) to facilitate a new online initiative. The New Zealand Global Competence Certificate (NZGCC) will offer secondary school students the opportunity to establish valuable international connections, despite the current travel restrictions.

The online programme will foster essential lifelong global “power skills” and focuses on helping secondary students find ways to build bridges in multicultural settings. The programme has previously been run in New Zealand secondary schools but Massey has been selected as the first university to run the pilot programme.

Beginning this week, Year 10 students from five Manawatū schools will undertake a customised version of AFS’ Global Competence Certificate (GCC). Each school will partner with a Vietnamese school and students from both countries will join weekly virtual workshops facilitated by Massey. This provides them with an opportunity to interact and connect directly with overseas student counterparts.

According to Massey’s Programme Coordinator for the Vietnam-NZ Programme Hilde Celie, the customised version of the GCC programme is an initiative by ENZ to boost the awareness of New Zealand schools in Vietnam.

“As one of few markets which has demonstrated continued growth in recent years, Vietnam is an important source country for the education sector in New Zealand. The unique collaboration between students of our two countries provides an extra dimension to this GCC course, requiring students to immediately put into practice their intercultural understanding and communication skills.”

Massey will also be offering a wider pilot programme later this year, partly subsidised by ENZ, to be delivered online from Massey’s Albany campus. A mix of self-paced animated videos, taught sessions, interactive quizzes, and assignments, the programme will be available to all international school students who remain in New Zealand over the summer.

Massey’s Professional Development Programme Coordinator Mark Kaneko says the blended learning programme helps to develop tangible global skills that are essential in making a real social impact around the world.

“Even though we can’t easily travel right now, being a global citizen is more important than ever. We need to be able to communicate effectively with people all around the world and ensure the message is getting through clearly despite language and cultural differences.

“By taking part in the AFS Global Competence Programme these students will learn how to relate and talk to people from different cultures around the world even though they may just be sitting in their own living room, talking through a computer.”

Education New Zealand’s General Manager Stakeholders and Communications John Goulter says ENZ is delighted to continue to support the AFS Global Competency Certificate by providing young New Zealanders the opportunity to develop global skills while borders are closed and travel is limited.

“This certificate creates global citizens who can easily study, work and live across boundaries. It’s great that ENZ is able to subsidise the course fee to enable more students to take part.”

To find out more about the NZGCC programme, please visit the Massey Event Page 


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