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Education New Zealand shuts down its recognised agency programme

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • Following a comprehensive review, Education New Zealand has opted to discontinue its agency recognition programme
  • Consultations with both educators and agents revealed that the programme was not seen to be offering tangible benefits to either group
  • ENZ will now focus on expanding its supports for a wider field of agents going forward

Education New Zealand has announced that it is closing down the Education New Zealand Recognised Agency (ENZRA) programme, effective immediately. The decision follows a review that included consultations with educators and more than 100 education agents – a process that was signalled in the New Zealand International Education Strategy in 2022.

During the programme review, ENZ heard from participating agents that ENZRA “doesn’t deliver tangible benefits or significant value to existing ENZRA agents.”

“Our review showed that many successful agents did not see the value in joining the programme,” said ENZ’s General Manager of Sector Services, Sahinde Pala. “The programme was also not accessible to emerging education consultants and organisations, and it did not meet the needs of New Zealand education providers.”

“After careful consideration of the feedback from many agencies and New Zealand education providers, it became clear that the existing programme was not fit for the emerging environment and the decision was taken to discontinue.”

In an accompanying video statement, she explained that ENZRA was also seen by some as a quality assurance programme, which it was never intended to be: “We unfortunately cannot quality assure education agents, that responsibility lies with education providers in NZ under their code of practice obligations.”

Ms Pala also pointed out, however, that agents valued a number of other supports provided by ENZ, including the organisation’s global staff network and the AgentLab online platform. “Looking forward,” she added, “we want to ensure a more even-handed and efficient approach and feel the best way of achieving this is to open up the power of our international network, along with our information and training capability to all agents, regardless of their size, expertise or capability.”

Along that line, ENZ is now moving forward with plans to relaunch the AgentLab platform this month, and to offer an expanded webinar schedule and other supports to agents recruiting for NZ institutions and schools.

The ENZRA programme was last refreshed in 2018, with participating agents required to meet enrolment-based targets as well as minimum standards of conduct, and to participate in training programmes.

Once accepted into the programme, agents were allowed to display the ENZRA logo on their websites and company materials, were eligible for additional support from ENZ, and were included in an agent directory on the Study With New Zealand website. As of 09 August 2023, that directory was still in place with a listing of just over 300 agents.

ENZRA-recognised agencies are now directed to remove the ENZRA logo and brand from all communications and company materials, and ENZ will in turn be shortly removing the ENZRA directory from the Study With New Zealand website. Any agents that require assistance or additional information are invited to contact ENZ at agent.help@enz.govt.nz.

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