Conference 2017- Belinda Himiona

Belinda Himiona

Acting Director – International Education, Ministry of Education

Belinda works in the Ministry of Education leading policy relating to international education including the development (with ENZ) of a new International Education Strategy and the International Student Wellbeing Strategy, legislation for the Code of Practice for Pastoral Care and work on the Export Education Levy.

Previously Belinda worked in NZQA as the Quality Assurance Strategy Manager where she led the work to implement the new Code of Practice for Pastoral Care.

Belinda has a BA in Modern Languages and Political Science (Victoria), a BA (Hons) in Political Science (Canterbury) and was recently awarded an Executive Master of Public Administration, through the Australia New Zealand School of Government. Belinda grew up in Tautoro (south of Kaikohe) and is of Ngati Apa descent from the Bulls area.  

International Education Wellbeing Strategy

Making sure that international students are well-supported while they live and study in New Zealand is important to the government. Regulating the care and support of international students is necessary because of their vulnerability due to their age, different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, and distance from their normal family and social networks while temporarily in our care.  The government’s Code of Practice and a new Dispute Resolution Scheme are designed to ensure that international students who come to study in New Zealand have the right expectations, are well-informed, safe, and properly cared for, and have an appropriate mechanism to resolve financial and contractual disputes.

Government agencies have also been working on a new ‘International Student Wellbeing Strategy’ to drive positive outcomes for international students and ensure that they are welcome, safe and well in New Zealand. The Strategy (still in draft) for international students in New Zealand – there are four priority areas to ensure that international students have the best possible experience in New Zealand: economic wellbeing, quality education, health and safety, and inclusion.

This session will give an overview of the feedback from international students about their experiences while studying here, our regulatory framework, and discuss the draft International Student Wellbeing Strategy and future work to better support student wellbeing. There will be time in this session for participants to share their thoughts, ask questions, and provide input about what we could all do better to improve student wellbeing.