As part of the Future Female Leadership initiative, NZISA will be conducting two virtual focus groups on Zoom for different regions across New Zealand including Auckland, Canterbury, Manawatū-Whanganui, Otago, Waikato and Wellington.
“[The initiative] aims to celebrate the diversity among female and female-identifying international students”
The sessions will explore which issues female international students face- these findings will then be used to create planning themes for a NZISA event called the Future Female Leadership Conference.
“[The initiative] aims to promote inclusion, celebrate the diversity among female and female-identifying international students, and identify and address issues faced by female international students,” organisers said in a statement.
The organisation has set up a group for female students who want to take part in the virtual focus sessions.
NZISA is an umbrella body that brings together international student leaders across New Zealand to address issues and concerns.
It seeks to act as a bridge between students, education providers and policy makers and works closely with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, Auckland Agency Group, New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the Human Rights Commission.
The Future Female Leadership initiative is the latest advocacy project that NZISA has undertaken to promote international student welfare.
NZISA has campaigned on issues around mental health, and organised a Mental Health and Wellbeing Conference in September 2018.
Lukas Kristen, NZISA national president, said that the conference was the result of the organisation seeing “a real need [for] better education for our student leaders on how to handle mental health in our own communities.”
The conference aimed to inform and empower international student representatives so that they could return to their student communities as advocates.
NZISA also ran a nationwide research campaign against labour exploitation in New Zealand.