Why professionalise? Have we done enough to support international students (and enrolling providers) with qualified staff?

Mr Chris Beard1

1Executive Officer, ISANA NZ , Wellington, New Zealand

In New Zealand international education has burst onto the scene as the new kid on the export block and added a new dimension to New Zealand society. At the same time, it appears to be the odd one out when compared to other lead export industries. School leavers and graduates with a keen interest in the country’s fourth largest export earner may find it difficult to identity sector-specific qualifications and ask themselves: ‘O professional pathways: Where art thou?’

In this presentation, Chris will report on ISANA NZ’s collaborative work that is supporting the development of sector-specific qualifications and professional pathways which prepare international education specialists. He will argue that such initiatives allow for the flourishing of innovative, evidence-based practice and the enabling of cross-sector responses to risk factors that weaken sustainability. ISANA NZ’s work syncs with the country’s new International Education Strategy 2018-2030, which calls for international education to be established as an academic discipline.


Chris has worked in international education for 26 years. For most of this professional life he has had daily contact with international students through teaching and advising.  He co-teaches a postgraduate course in International Education for Victoria University of Wellington’s MEd programme.


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education. For more information, please visit the ISANA website.

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