AFS Intercultural Programs and Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) are proud to announce a new phase in our multi-year partnership to deliver global competence education to students and educators. Within the Prime Minister’s Scholarship to Asia and Latin America (PMSA/PMSLA) initiative, in 2023 AFS and ENZ will work together on training 14 new Qualified Facilitators who will deliver the Global Up Abroad program for more than 100 adult PMSA/PMSLA recipients.

This development builds on the existing partnership between AFS and ENZ which has seen over 1,400 New Zealanders and their partners already participate in AFS’ Global Up programs.  Locally known as “The New Zealand Global Competence Certificate,” this program was offered to New Zealand and international students as an innovative and timely solution for international education in times of closed borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic between 2020 and 2023. Now, for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, this program will be delivered in conjunction with in-person study abroad for scholar recipients ages 18 and over  in the PMSA/PMSLA.

This program for young adults directly supports the government of New Zealand’s International Education Strategy and helps students develop their knowledge, skills and capabilities they need to live, work and learn globally while sharing  with their global peers.

Meet the 2022-2023 scholars who will participate in this program here.

There’s an obligation for education programmes to stay globally engaged and give students the strongest opportunity they can to really broaden their skills and global competence, and  the Prime Minister’s Scholarship to Asia and Latin America are no exception. Having the AFS Global Competence Certificate as one of the cornerstones of the scholarship will  ensure that our students are well prepared and ready to make the most of their experience abroad. It will also help us ensure that the programme works holistically so that scholars are able to understand themselves locally and globally, and are able to find ways to navigate and respond to the complex global issues we face through shared understanding,” shared Carla Rey Vasquez, Education New Zealand’s Director of Scholarships.

AFS Intercultural Programs is the global non-profit that originally developed Global Up as a way to deliver the award-winning Global Competence Certificate to learners of all ages who may or may not experience studying, working or traveling abroad. Global Up programs achieve their impact thanks to their research-backed content which develops cultural self-awareness, empathy for others, and ways to connect in multicultural settings. It comprises online modules and live, facilitated dialogue sessions, covering topics such as stereotypes, intercultural communication styles, dealing with conflict, and resilience.

“The global competence framework and camaraderie this blended learning experience provides students, whether in a group study away or as individuals,  is foundational for making sense of these transformational moments,” remarked, Linda Stuart, AFS Director of Global Education Innovation  “Qualified facilitators holding intentional, brave space to be vulnerable, explore cultural identity, cultivate empathy and practice bridging strategies is what makes the difference.” 

Multiple research studies have proven the effectiveness of this program, with one Purdue University study finding that this program’s “learners are more effective intercultural communicators, they are equipped to resolve conflict and are able to bridge differences.”

Global competence sets up learners for the future of work, which is increasingly intercultural and global. In a study conducted by ENZ, businesses who employed staff with cross-cultural competencies found this contributed to a more energizing workplace, which helped to foster creativity and innovation as well as other benefits.

In 2022, ENZ, Massey University and AFS were shortlisted as finalists for the PIEoneer Awards, which recognize innovation and achievement in global education. Their partnership delivering the Global Competence Certificate was recognized in two categories: Public / private partnership of the year, and Progressive education delivery award.