Tue 19 Sep 2017

International team pushes Taranaki

WITT is already receiving inquiries from potential students in India as the team completes a promotional tour there.

Chief Executive Barbara George returned at the start of the week from the whistle-stop tour of India and Nepal.   

In Mumbai, she and WITT’s international team met agents and heard first hand why Taranaki and WITT are on many students’ bucket list.  WITT offers a small portfolio of engineering, hospitality, health and business courses and the embedded internships make welcome additions to CVs when the graduates are looking for work, here or abroad. 

“A meeting with Immigration New Zealand in Mumbai was a collegial affair and a good opportunity to hear first-hand about visa processing, timing, and how this important office is keeping us safe and ensuring that good students come to New Zealand,” she said.

There was a lot of discussion around English requirements. 

“There wasn’t anything particularly new in the conversations, but it was good to see that WITT is doing well in the visa approvals, mainly because of the long term relationships it has with reputable agents overseas.’’ 

In Delhi, the WITT team attended agent fairs where students are matched with one or more of the universities and polytechnics attending.  There were opportunities to talk with students one on one and again the internships proved popular.  As an alternative to Auckland, Taranaki appeals to students as a cheaper option for price sensitive families. 

The next city was Kathmandu – somewhere new to Barbara. 

The journey should have taken an hour, but it was four before the WITT team heard the wheels touch down at the intended destination. 

“It went Delhi – nearly to Kathmandu – circled back and landed at Varanasi – refuelled and headed back to Kathmandu.  Then the captain said the plane could not land because of cracks in the tarmac and the flight would go into a holding pattern.  In the next minute or two, the captain asked the attendants to prepare for landing, and the plane hit the tarmac, coming to a screeching halt.  One can only imagine the less than impressed conversation from the flight deck at needing to head back to Varanasi for more fuel!”  

The WITT team found Kathmandu interesting and met two sets of agents and attended a fair.

“Price is the major sensitivity in this market, and some very good students approached WITT to ask questions,’’ Barbara said.

She returned to New Zealand on Tuesday, leaving the team to carry on making the rounds.  The visit has already prompted applications.

“Even though I am a little jetlagged and have returned to New Zealand to a full and busy workload, it is rewarding to see the list of applications and be able to put smiling and hopeful faces to the names,” she said.