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14 Oct 2016
Twelve students, ranging from a primary school pupil to a PhD student, are being acknowledged at the inaugural Wellington International Student Excellence Awards held at Parliament today.
The awards, presented by Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, recognise the region’s best all round international students.
Kathy Nam is the youngest student to be awarded. The 11 year-old Korean Kelburn Normal School student packs more in to her school day than most Kiwi kids. A member of the school’s orchestra, the coding club, the drama club, Kathy’s also an accomplished writer; no easy task considering English is her second language.
Amongst the oldest to receive a Wellington International Student Excellence Award is 38-year-old Nigerian PHD Victoria University student Olayinka Moses. Olayinka also doesn’t exemplify a laid-back approach to education. He is President of the Postgraduate Students’ Association, a member of the Academic Committee and Academic Board, contributes to academic policies and for his own academic work performs at an A and A+ level. He also helps to organise academic and social events at university and contributes to a number of charities.
Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA) Chief Executive Chris Whelan says international students are an important part of New Zealand’s education community.
“Last year, about 7,500 international students studied in Wellington. They not only make a valuable economic contribution, but make an incredibly important cultural impact on their school communities. We’ve developed these awards to recognise this contribution made by individual students.”
Whelan said work is underway to increase the number of international students coming to Wellington to 12,000 by 2025.
“Wellington has world-class education providers which act as a magnet for talented international students to study here and succeed.”
He said while the Wellington International Student Excellence Awards take into account academic achievement, they also factor in contributions in sports, the arts and in the community.
“We want to see the creation of well-rounded students and it is these students we celebrate today.”
WREDA received 90 award entries from primary school-aged children to post graduate students from which a judging panel had difficulty in narrowing it down to just 12 winners.
WREDA communications specialist
022 355 6471
The youngest of our award winners has taken every opportunity that studying in Wellington has provided her. She is a member of the school’s orchestra, the coding club, the drama club, she’s an accomplished writer and is a credit to Kelburn Normal School.
Igor came do a short English language course, but was convinced to study his final school year at Wellington College. Igor joined the swimming team, the volleyball team, the politics club and then took a leadership position in the International Students Association. Igor has given back to the community by volunteering at Strathmore Preschool, Relay for Life and the Vietnamese Blue Dragon charity.
As a top International Baccelaureate scholar, Chenyang or Sonny Fan has achieved excellence in his academic efforts. As the top student in his Physics, Maths and Chemistry classes, Sonny initiated a tutoring group to help his fellow international students with their studies.
Lothar Krumpen made too many friends to leave his new home in Wellington, and so moved from Scots College to Victoria University last year. As well as averaging A+’s in his commerce papers and one of the top law students, Lothar’s sporting achievements are incredible. Lothar is representing Wellington and has now gone on to represent the NZ University hockey team.
Siying (Kimmy) Ren has been an International Student Ambassador for both Massey University and more recently, for the NZ Police. Kimmy has contributed both as a class leader whilst undertaking a Masters in Communication and as Vice President of the Chinese Student Association. However, it was Kimmy’s assistance during a crisis affecting another student that stood her above her peers.
As part of Vic Crew, VUWSA, Kiwi Mate and AIESEC, To Quan Quach of Vietnam has done much to help with the internationalisation of Victoria University. Ironically, she has also done much to give other international students a Kiwi welcome when they got to Victoria. All, whilst managing to Business School’s Dean’s List for academic achievement.
Despite having no access to the internet or Western television, Hening Wang built a love for sci-fi and fantasy movies by hiring old VCRs at his local store. This changed the direction of his life and led him, many years later, to the home of the Hobbit for his studies. Thanks to the guidance of the Yoobee School of Design, Hening has been awarded an upcoming trip with Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop to Korea’s Gwamyeoung Fantasy Week.
Anamika Nampoothiry’s success reflects well on her current institution, WelTec and on her former instituion, Queen Margaret College. Originally from Kerala, India, Anamika was awarded proxime accessit last year, and a top IB scholar award. She is a dancer and singer, student librarian, and soon to be an engineer.
Wellington is not known as the Culinary Capital for nothing, and Ravi Prasad of Whitireia is already making his mark. Achieving 100% for the majority of his courses and competencies, and singled out for his excellent work ethic, Ravi was hand-picked during his course to complete an internship at the Museum Hotel. That internship turned into a permanent role, a crucial outcome for many international students.
Chelcia Gomese of the Solomon Islands is a giver. She’s been a Red Cross collector, done numerous beach clean ups, tree planting, she’s volunteered for Education NZ, and has been a student buddy to students from China, Indonesia and USA. She was the President of the Melanesian Student Association, did an internship at an NGO in Apia and even managed to start an environmental non-profit back in the Solomons.
The next two students have been singled out as the top international students for the school and the tertiary sectors, respectively.
Moonlighting as a waiter at Government House, Yang Xiao is an international student who has typified a pathway of contribution and success throughout his time in Wellington. Currently studying at Onslow College he has helped organise multiple fundraising and social events to encourage integration within the school and beyond. Yang intends to study at Victoria and then pursue a dream of becoming a pilot for Air NZ. Last week, Yang served lunch to Minister English at our new Governor General’s swearing-in ceremony. So it’s a role reversal to have Minister English now presenting Yang’s award.
Originally from Nigeria, Olayinka Moses has dived fully into academic life within Victoria University. As President of the Postgraduate Students’ Association and a member of the Academic Committee and Academic Board, Yinka has both contributed to academic policies and performed at an A and A+ level for his own academic work. This has compelled him to pursue a further PhD at Victoria in the accounting field. He has helped to organise multiple academic and social events at university and contributed to a number of charities.