NZELTO English Language Training for Officials

26 April, 2023

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) has delivered the New Zealand English Language Training for Officials (NZELTO) programme for over 30 years. It has an alumni of government officials of over 2,000 from Asia alone as well as from Africa and Latin America.

The overarching goals of the programme are to support sustainable economic development in participating nations through improved use of English for international communication and to facilitate and contribute to enduring cooperation, economic and people-to-people ties between New Zealand and Southeast Asia, Timor-Leste and Mongolia. You can find out more about the NZELTO Asia and Africa scholarships here.

Until the end of 2022, the NZELTO scholarship programme was delivered directly on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) as part of their Manaaki New Zealand Scholarship Programme. We are now excited to be working with Education NZ Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ). ENZ bring their experience of showcasing Aotearoa New Zealand’s exceptional education capability to the world. Learn more about what else ENZ do here.

The NZELTO Asia programme delivers an immersive experience of the highest quality – spanning theme-based English language training and engagement.

Participants will develop skills, including improved English language proficiency, and gain knowledge relevant to their professional needs and the programme goals; build connections to New Zealand and to other participants; and have a positive experience of the programme and New Zealand. 

NZELTO Intake 55 – Good Governance, March to June 2023

NZELTO Intake 55, with the theme of good governance, brings together government officials from Vietnam, Timor Leste, Laos, Indonesia and Cambodia under the theme of good governance. The officials are in New Zealand from March to June.

Intake 55 is special for two reasons.

1. Many of the officials started their application prior to the global pandemic in 2020.

2. The intake itself is a part of an evolution of the programme that delivers a range of new touchpoints that will enhance the relationship between the officials, their countries, and New Zealand.

What is the “NZELTO” Experience?

Here are some examples of what makes the NZ ELTO programme special.

In mid-April a team from our delivery partners, the VUW English Language Institute (ELI), took the officials to a panel discussion on Strengthening Democracy Through Open Government. One of the panelists was former Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Honourable Helen Clark. The officials were very keen to meet her. They introduced themselves to her and heard that she knew about the NZELTO programme. She commended them on their English and said she had met many NZELTO alumni when visiting Southeast Asia.

The ELI team also facilitated the officials attending a Parliament Education session where they met MP Ibrahim Omar. The officials were extremely interested in hearing Minister Omar’s journey from refugee to Minister of Parliament.

NZELTO intake 55 officials meeting Helen Clark
NZELTO intake 55 officials meeting Helen Clark
NZELTO Intake 55 officials meeting Ibrahim Omar

Learning through conversation

What happens alongside the classroom and engagement visits? The Kāpuhipuhi Wellington Uni-Professional Programme team provide the officials with a range of formal and informal ways of experiencing and connecting with New Zealand and New Zealanders. A consistent highlight is the conversation partner programme. Intake 55 officials have been connected with volunteer conversation partners which provides the officials with a safe and relaxed forum to practice their English outside of the classroom.

What next for NZELTO Intake 55?

The NZELTO Intake 55 officials are with us until mid-June when they will return home. The ELI teachers will then support the officials putting their learning into practice through work-based projects. They will come together again next February, along with officials from the upcoming Intake 56, in Bangkok for a regional symposium. After the symposium they then join over 2,000 ELTO alumni.

We will highly likely see them in the future representing their countries and region in important roles and international fora – where they’ll fondly remember the time former Prime Minster Helen Clark took the time to make them feel welcome in Aotearoa New Zealand.