Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ), AFS Intercultural Programs and Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa have been shortlisted as finalists for the 2022 PIEoneer Awards for their partnership delivering the Global Competence Certificate to 1,000 students, faculty and educators from New Zealand and 13 other countries in Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam) and South America (Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Brazil) in 2021.

The PIEoneer Awards recognize innovation and achievement in global education each year. The New Zealand Global Competence Certificate  is a finalist in two categories:

  • Public / private partnership of the year, and
  • Progressive education delivery award.

A model for delivering global competence education virtually and at scale

Education New Zealand, AFS, and Massey University joined forces to deliver global competence education virtually,  at a time when students were unable to travel and schools were unable to host international visitors due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Global Competence Certificate was perfectly suited for this need, as it develops self-awareness, empathy, critical thinking, cross-cultural communication and flexibility—global skills essential to live, work, and make a real impact around the world.

ENZ provided full scholarships to increase access; AFS developed a customized version of their Global Competence Certificate and trained a cadre of qualified facilitators in New Zealand; and Massey educators delivered the New Zealand programme so participants got a taste of the New Zealand  teaching style.

1,000 Learners in 13 countries reached

Mixed classes, with learners from different countries, provided a rich cultural experience, a chance to connect with peers offshore in a virtual exchange, despite travel restrictions.

The nearly 1,000 students and teachers in New Zealand and 13 other countries developed global competence skills they described as “life-changing” and “the best thing in the pandemic.” 98% of the programme attendees said they were ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with the Global Competence Certificate, and 95% rating their experience as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good.’

Thanks to the overwhelming success of this program, the partnership will continue as borders reopen and international travel is back on the agenda, with more than 400 learners benefitting from the New Zealand Global Competence Certificate in 2022.

Supporting a nation-wide international education strategy

This collaborative project directly supports the government of New Zealand’s International Education Strategy and helps students and teachers develop their cross-cultural skills together with their global peers.

“As well as helping to develop the global citizens of tomorrow, this programme demonstrates the reciprocal benefits of international education, giving our rangatahi a chance to learn with high school students from around the world, and giving their offshore peers a chance to learn ‘with’ New Zealand and our unique way of thinking,” says Grant McPherson, ENZ Chief Executive.

“Interacting and communicating effectively with people around the world is an important skill. Massey University’s significant experience teaching online, utilising the excellent customised content from AFS and the ongoing support of ENZ, provides a great opportunity for students to gain the knowledge and capabilities they need to live, work and learn in a connected world,” says Tere McGonagle-Daly, Students and Global Engagement, Massey University.

The award-winning Global Competence Certificate, developed by AFS Intercultural Programs,  is used far beyond New Zealand. As of 2022, it’s used in over 60 countries with 15,000 learners of different ages and backgrounds.

“Educating more young people to become global citizens is mission-critical for our world. At AFS we are committed to ensuring that everyone has access to intercultural learning and gain skills such as cross-cultural communication, empathy, and conflict resolution to effectively bridge differences,” concludes Daniel Obst, President and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs.

Learn more about the PIEoneer awards and see other finalists here. Winners will be announced on Friday, September 9, 2022.