A report this morning from Radio New Zealand, revealing the exploitation of Chinese students looking to study in New Zealand.

With International students bringing upwards of $4 billion into the New Zealand economy every year, is it really a surprise that there appear to be underhand tactics at play?

Reporter Jessie Chang spoke to Amy, whose name has been changed due to fear of backlash. Amy works as an Education Agent, helping to connect International students with New Zealand education institutions. Agents work on commission with the practice being likened to a Pyramid scheme by an immigration lawyer.

Amy has said that often International students will not have the necessary level of English needed for entry to tertiary institutions, so education agents will arrange for staff or someone else to take internal English tests for them.

This obviously raises huge concerns as with insufficient English ability these students are likely to not understand content, fail assessments, struggle to integrate and ultimately not complete qualifications or have fruitful experiences in New Zealand. This calls true as reflected in the closure of Auckland based tertiary provider in May 2017 due to “incomprehensible” and plagiarised work from students.

So, what is to be done? If internal assessments provided by tertiary institutions are being pulled into question, the international legacy assessments in place don’t seem to be delivering the results needed for successful study, what else is there? Well, we actually have homegrown technology that hits the sweet spot for overcoming these barriers and inspiring a better student experience.

Fluent IQ have been lobbying to get their technology recognised, it overcomes multiple barriers and presents numerous benefits to both student and education provider. Designed to accurately identify an individual’s real-world communication ability through robust science Fluent IQ assessments are leading edge within their field.

Strict ID verification and anti-fraud protection team up to deliver a certificate that is 100% reliable and delivers meaningful results for benchmarking students as well as tracking improvements or highlighting areas where additional support may be required. Local English School Rewi Alley Academy have just adopted Fluent IQ assessments for exactly these reasons.

This technology is also being used in Australia to help best prepare international students for English exams through the Good Education Guide platforms.

As a nation, we talk about wanting to foster and encourage innovation, so why then, when we are presented with an opportunity to support local innovation, that is positioned to not only protect but better, a multibillion-dollarindustry do we look the other way?

This is just the tip of a huge industry scandal. The problems within the sector are evident the traditional means of assessment appear to be falling far short of the mark. The need to try something new is obvious. With technology designed for the 21st-century knocking on your door, we suggest that industry authorities look closer to home for a solution.

Yep, that’s a challenge!