As New Zealand opened borders for international students including India a new global marketing campaign was launched emphasising on the country’s unique attributes for international students. The country had closed borders for international students for two years now. The global campaign features stories of eight international students from, India, China, Colombia, Germany, Japan, Thailand, USA, and Vietnam.
Among the 8 students is Tiara Das, from India, who is studying Health Science – Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Otago in Dunedin.
Education New Zealand invited these eight students to work alongside world-famous Māori fashion designer Kiri Nathan to collaborate on designing a new type of education garment that embodies the cultural values that make a New Zealand education unique: manaakitanga (care of people), kaitiakitanga (care of place), and the pōtiki spirit of youthful energy and finding a better way. The narratives in the campaign are focussed on the students’ experiences and goals, and explore themes such as work and career readiness, sustainability, and innovation through collaboration. It is a campaign authentically rooted in Te Ao Māori values.
“The traditional academic gown worn by students when they graduate is a symbol of achievement, capturing a snapshot in time,” says Ms. Nathan. “Our ‘kākahu’ (garment) symbolises not only this attainment, but most importantly the cultural journey these students have undertaken and will continue throughout their lives. Their experience in New Zealand has changed them, weaving and sharing the values of Te Ao Māori into the unique cultures of their own homeland. The final kākahu designs are a unique collaborative effort, globally-minded and inspiring – just like the students.”
Kiri Nathan is best known for her extensive experience of the modern fashion world infused with her Te Ao Māori roots. She has developed pieces for international figures including Barack Obama, Beyoncé, and the Duchess of Sussex.
The students also had to share their experience of study and life in New Zealand, and the benefits that result from the weaving together of different cultures in a uniquely New Zealand way.
Explaining the campaign, Education New Zealand Chief Executive, Grant McPherson said, “When you study with New Zealand, you’re invited to bring your whole self. You will benefit from New Zealand’s cultural values as well as our high-quality education that embodies innovation, practical learning, and preparing you for the future.”
“But we also know New Zealand benefits too. We want students to bring their stories, their culture, and their perspectives so that we can learn from each other and build a future that is connected, strong and adaptable,” he added.
The campaign was launched as part of Education New Zealand’s participation at the NASFA 2022, an international education conference and Expo in Denver, Colorado. The campaign will roll out across New Zealand’s key partner countries from June 2 and runs for 12 weeks initially.