No bungy for Asian students

Bungy jumping, skiing, Sky Tower visits and maybe even golf looks par for the course as a New Zealand training provider tries to lure overseas students from the US and central Europe. However, fun is not on the curriculum for another trainer aiming at the Asian market.

Bungy jumping, skiing, Sky Tower visits and maybe even golf looks par for the course as a New Zealand training provider tries to lure overseas students from the US and central Europe.

However, fun is not on the curriculum for another trainer aiming at the Asian market.

Ace Computer Training general manager Mike Skelton says from November his company plans to offer “lifestyle and holiday opportunities while you study” in New Zealand. The courses are “high-end technical”, he says, mainly Microsoft certifications like MCSEs.

With classes of at least six to eight people, run on a weekly to 10-day cycle at its Auckland and Wellington offices, Ace aims to train several hunded overseas students a year.

Skelton declines to detail exactly what his courses will offer but admits “it’s a comprehensive programme that we are putting together”.

The courses will “add value” to people wanting to spend time in New Zealand and be price-competitive to training offered in the students’ own countries thanks to the weak New Zealand dollar.

However, due to the “complications” involved, Ace will not be involved in any work-experience schemes with local firms or have anything to do with students trying to find work here, Skelton says.

Christchurch-based Trike Technologies was keen on setting up similar corporate programmes last year, but instead decided to launch NZQA-based courses aimed at Asians, mainly Chinese. An undisclosed figure of students — “a fair number, more than dozens” — began their courses last month.

Centre manager Jochen Seybold says such activities were not in his programmes but the students may enjoy them in their own time. He declines to explain the change of plan.

New Horizons also looked at using the country’s cheap dollar to lure overseas students in a marketing campaign last year, but new general manager Vino Ayyappan says he does not see a large market for this.

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