The New Zealand International Education Conference (NZIEC) brings together practitioners and leaders from New Zealand and around the world to explore strategies for growth in international education. This year global citizenship was a key theme. Our Chair Robyn Baker reflects on her attendance at the event.
It was an excellent opportunity to attend the New Zealand International Conference this month. I was especially pleased see ‘developing global citizens’ as one of the three goals of the government’s International Education Strategy, He Rautaki Mātauranga a ao, which was launched at the conference.
A key theme throughout the conference was the sharing of diverse perspectives about what constitutes ‘global citizenship’ in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand. It explored the many ways education can provide opportunities for students to develop the valued knowledge, skills and capabilities. One recurring theme was the value of learning through active engagement in purposeful activities in culturally diverse contexts, within the tertiary institution and in the wider local, national and international communities.
It was evident from the various presentations that many educators are already providing their students with rich learning opportunities in areas related to global citizenship. It was clear too that there was considerable interest in this goal of the International Strategy. People were keen to share and build knowledge of effective practices.
Global Citizenship Education (GCED) is currently one of The National Commission’s key areas of work. Our work is guided by the UN Sustainable Development Goals – notably the education goal – and the call on countries to ensure that all learners are provided with the opportunities to develop the capabilities needed for active global citizenship. The National Commission has a role to play in strengthening and sustaining the community of individuals and organisations working in the area of GCED and acting as a catalyst for GCED collaborations.