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Up Education

NZMA and Yoobee Group engage in transformative discussions at USA conference

21 Mar 2024

Photo (left to right): Kelly Stevens, Head of Learner Success at Yoobee Group and Rachel Evans, Head of Learner Success at NZMA Group.

In February, the DREAM 2024 conference, organised by Achieving the Dream, convened in Orlando, Florida. This annual event serves as a platform for educators, policymakers, and stakeholders to deliberate on strategies aimed at advancing student success and equity in higher education.

Among the attendees were Rachel Evans, Head of Learner Success at NZMA Group, and Kelly Stevens, Head of Learner Success at Yoobee Group, who represented New Zealand as part a delegation led by the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

Notably, TEC has participated in DREAM conferences since 2018, deriving the government’s Oritetanga Framework from Achieve the Dream’s principles, a learner-centric framework the commission rolled out to improve and measure the outcomes of tertiary providers across New Zealand.

Rachel and Kelly, as the heads of learner success for the country’s largest independent tertiary providers under UP Education, looked to leverage their learnings from the DREAM conference to achieve their mission to ensure all students, including priority learners, are “seen and heard” throughout their transformative journey in higher education.

The conference agenda featured a range of workshops and sessions addressing critical issues such as racial equity, multi-modality instruction, professional development alignment, and online learning.

Reflecting on the experience, Rachel shared: “Networking with delegates from around the globe provided invaluable insights, while the heartfelt stories shared by students, especially through ‘I am’ poems, reaffirmed the transformative impact of education.”

Kelly echoed the importance of networking and collaboration, stating: “Building partnerships with like-minded sector leaders is paramount for driving equitable outcomes in education.”

“Additionally, recognising the diverse needs of learners through culturally responsive pedagogy and curriculum development is essential; every learner has a unique story that warrants recognition and support.”

When asked what New Zealand tertiary providers can do better, both Rachel and Kelly emphasised the need for a multifaceted approach that addresses individual challenges and fosters a sense of belonging within educational institutions. They also underscored the importance of data-driven decision-making processes to identify and address equity gaps.

About NZMA Group

New Zealand Management Academies (NZMA Group) is the registered private training establishment for the following tertiary providers: NZMA, New Zealand Institute of Sport and The Culinary Collective.

About Yoobee Group

Yoobee Colleges Limited (Yoobee Group) is the registered private training establishment for the following tertiary providers: Yoobee College of Creative Innovation, New Zealand School of Tourism, Elite School of Beauty and Spa, and Cut Above Academy.