Applications for international students funding opens

$750,000 for current year for GOs and NGOs

Tertiary Education Minister Paul Goldsmith has announced allocation of $750,000 for the government’s ‘International Students Wellbeing Strategy’ for 2017-2018 fiscal year.

The money would be taken from the Export Education Levy and follow a collaborative cross-agency funding model to encourage cooperation between agencies and communities, a ministry communique said.

It said that eligible organisations should follow a two-stage application process with proposals for funding initiatives.

Expression of Interest

Eligible organisations must first file their Expression of Interest (EOI) based on a template available on the website of the Ministry.

The last date for filing EOI was September 20, 2017.


Thereafter, the Ministry evaluated the applications and invited (on September 25, 2017) those selected to submit a comprehensive proposal detailing how it meets the criteria for funding.

The selected agencies have three weeks to complete the second stage of application and submit a full proposal.

Funding criteria

The Ministry will prioritise initiatives that meet most, if not all, of the following criteria: (a) Fills an identified support gap and will have an enduring impact on supporting one or more wellbeing strategy goals (b) Identifies leveraging/collaboration/partnering opportunities (c) Demonstrates the capability and capacity required to successfully deliver on its intended outcome (d) Includes well-designed implementation and evaluation plan (e) Is cost-effective (considering impact relative to costs) (f) Does not duplicate or crowd out existing services provided to international students (g) Is innovative, taking advantage of new technologies to maximise reach and impact.

The initiatives can be local, regional or national.

“Auckland, which accounts for a majority of international student population, is expected to be the focal point for some initiatives. However, we particularly encourage and welcome local and regional initiatives outside of Auckland,” the communique said.

The Funding Cycle

The Ministry proposes to run annual rounds where funding is likely to be allocated before the end of October. New initiatives should be completed within the current financial year though some initiatives may be funded over several years depending on their design. Decisions on these will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The Working Group and Steering Group of the Ministry will review the effectiveness of existing initiatives funded from this fund and will decide on whether to continue funding on an annual basis.

About the Wellbeing Strategy

More than 130,000 students from all over the world choose to come to New Zealand each year to further their education. International students often do not speak English as their first language and are living away from their families, sometimes for the first time.

It is important that they are well supported, welcomed and valued for their contribution to the communities they live and study in, and to the country.

Since July 2016, international education agencies have met with students, community groups and education providers to hear about the issues that are important and what solutions work best for them. As a result, government agencies have developed the International Student Wellbeing Strategy, a broader student-centred strategy supported by the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice.

Terms and Conditions

Co-funding is encouraged but not required.

If extra funding is required to bring an initiative to completion, eligible agencies must contact the Working Group, whose members will decide, on a case-by case-basis, the best course of action.

The Ministry expects the money allocated to be spent during the same financial year. Multi-year proposals will also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Proposals from individuals seeking personal study or research grants, and those seeking to promote political or religious objectives will not be considered.

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