Improving Student Experience outcomes across New Zealand through Research, Partnership and Digital Delivery

Ms Sahinde Pala1

1Education New Zealand, New Zealand

The success story of the international education industry in New Zealand is predicated on a positive student experience, as outlined in the International Education Strategy 2018 – 2030. Education New Zealand has taken a deep dive into understanding what drives a great student experience and translated those research findings into work programmes that respond to the needs identified. As a government agency one of our challenges is to deliver a government response that enhances successful student experience outcomes, including well-being and inclusion. A response that builds capability and capacity for students and staff across the entire education sector, and recognises the importance of collaboration and partnerships for successful delivery. In this session we will share what we have learned, and how a holistic, values-based focus is key to our strategy and delivery. We will share with you a digital solution that is designed to enhance the student experience, including well-being themes of social connection, mental well-being literacy and access to health support, as well as demonstrating how partnerships are key to optimising successful outcomes for students. We look forward to learning from you also.


Sahinde Pala is the Director, Student Experience and Global Citizens at Education New Zealand (ENZ).  During her time with ENZ Sahinde has worked on the development of both the International Student Wellbeing Strategy and the broader International Education Strategy for New Zealand, launched in 2018.  Throughout her time at ENZ she has been actively engaged in pan-sector collaboration – with educational institutions, peak bodies, regional agencies, community groups and student groups, most recently with a focus of embedding and improving student experience and global citizenship outcomes across the sector.  Prior to joining ENZ in 2016 Sahinde worked in a number of roles for a multinational group of English language schools.

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