New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

From the Ambassador's Blog: Education: why New Zealand?

NZAID scholars in New Zealand

We have stepped up our engagement with Indonesia around education links. Why? We want to support Indonesia and we want to share our world class capabilities with our friends in Indonesia.

The New Zealand story

New Zealand has long been recognised for providing world class education. International education really kicked off with the Colombo Plan scholarships, awarded to students from developing nations like Indonesia since the 1950s.

By the 1980s, New Zealand had developed an international education capability. Today the sector is strong and diverse, encompassing university and polytechnic education, secondary school and specialist learning, including in areas like English language, aviation, agriculture and tourism. There’s something for everybody.

And the world comes to us. In 2012, there were around 100,000 international students in New Zealand. The largest group was from China (over 24,000). India (11,000), South Korea (almost 10,000) and Japan (9,600) were the next largest. Indonesia was our 15th largest source of students, with 800 – we need to do better, but more on that later.

Seven of our eight universities are ranked in the top 500 in the world (the eighth doesn’t register only because it is small). No other country can boast that level of quality across all of its universities.

We also have excellent polytechnics, secondary schools and specialist training institutions.

We pride ourselves, not only on providing top quality education, but also doing so in a safe, friendly and fun environment, where there is a real emphasis on student welfare. According to the Global Peace Index, New Zealand was the second most peaceful country in the world in 2102. According to the 2012 HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, New Zealand was the friendliest country in the world.

I guess one measure of our success is Nobel Prize winners. Three kiwis have won Nobel prizes: Ernest Rutherford (1908 for splitting the atom and other work on radioactive substances), Maurice Wilkins (1962 Nobel for his contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA) and Alan McDiarmid (2000 for his contribution to the discovery and development of electrically conductive polymers).

New Zealand also ranks highly on global innovation assessments and has a strong reputation for innovation in areas like agriculture, government policy, film-making and technology. This forms part of New Zealand’s appeal as a location for study.

And let’s not forget New Zealand’s fabulous scenery and the wide range of leisure activities available throughout the country. Auckland and Wellington are routinely ranked among the world’s most liveable cities.

So whether we’re talking quality of education, quality of life, affordability, that x factor around innovation or friendliness, New Zealand really does have it all.

Indonesia – relationship-building for mutual benefit

We have awarded scholarships to Indonesians to study in New Zealand for about 60 years. Currently we offer 50 postgraduate scholarships each year to Indonesians, up from 15 awards in 2010.

Our NZ Embassy site and the NZ Aid site have more information on the scheme. The 2013 round closed in April, but there will be another application round starting in early 2014.

Applications close mid-April each year for awardees who plan to start studies in the following academic year (usually in February and July).

We signed an education agreement with Indonesia in 2011 to share education policy experience and insights. Early childhood education has been an early priority. The next meeting of the working group to manage the relationship is scheduled to be held in Indonesia in August.

We have worked to develop stronger links with the Indonesia Ministry of Education. Agreements have now been signed with the Indonesian Higher Education Directorate General (Dikti) which makes New Zealand a priority destination for Indonesian academics to target for their doctoral and masters studies. This makes New Zealand one of just six destinations worldwide prioritised for such study. Dikti has also signed agreements with four of our eight universities making them priority partners for study. Each agreement differs slightly, but all provide advantages for Indonesian academics taking up study opportunities in New Zealand.

We have also worked to build stronger institutional linkages between Indonesia and New Zealand. 19 new agreements have been signed over the past 18 months. Indonesian partner universities include the University of Indonesia, Gadjah Mada University, Bogor Agricultural Institute, State Islamic University of Jakarta, Airlangga University, Paramadina University, and Binus. These arrangements provide opportunities for cooperation including student and staff exchange, joint research, twinning or dual degrees. The goal is to build ever stronger connections between our institutions.

At leaders level, both countries see merit in more Indonesians coming to New Zealand. President Yudhoyono and other senior Ministers here have signalled that they’d like to see more student exchange.

We have begun to promote New Zealand across Indonesia as a wise choice for study. We ran education fairs in Medan, Jakarta and Surabaya in March, following up a fair held in Jakarta in 2012. We will hold another round of fairs in August. 23 institutions participated in the March fairs which attracted a good deal of interest among parents and prospective students, online and in the media.

We believe New Zealand not only provides a high quality, safe and friendly education experience but also a reasonably priced one. At the undergraduate level, annual tuition fees vary according to the specific course but are in the region of US$18,400 – 26,400 (NZ$23,000-33,000). A specialised course like training to be a pilot is more expensive, around US$60,000 (NZ$75,000). Annual living costs are around US$12,000 (NZ$15,000).

For doctoral study we also offer international students domestic fees (on average around US$5,000 per year for PhD study). Together with relatively low living costs, the ability for a candidate to work part-time and their partner full-time and access to education and health services on the same basis as New Zealanders, this is a very attractive opportunity.

We believe that Indonesians that study in New Zealand will have a great learning and living experience, returning with world class qualifications that will help them contribute to Indonesia’s development and prosperity. New Zealand gets to make new friends for life and see the strong web of relationships between our countries get even stronger and more resilient.

For a lot more information on what’s on offer, visit:

We seek a deeper stronger relationship with Indonesia and education forms a key part of that. With all that’s on offer in New Zealand, we look forward to saying “haere mai” (welcome in Māori) to a lot more Indonesians in the coming period.

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