A model of a Japanese niche market and product diversity



In 2007, TAFENSW recognised that it was attracting very few students from the Japanese market for its vocational courses. Its idea was primarily to diversify into Japan and to gain a broader nationality mix in the classroom in order to maximise students’ learning experience. The organisation appointed a Japan expert and formed a business relationship with Mr Soichiro Fukutake, who was the director and chairman of Benesse Corporation, the largest provider of educational materials throughout Japan.

TAFENSW established a partnership with Mr Fukutake's Global Career Academy (GCA). GCA was a different channel as it recruited scholarship students directly to TAFENSW from poorer regional areas in Japan and provided an intense level of support throughout their TAFE journey. TAFENSW also created an on-campus GCA office and support network.

Students started with English courses, followed by diplomas and degrees. Completion and success have been outstanding in both the numbers and in developing qualities such as enthusiasm, reliability, positive self-esteem and adaptability for students to achieve their dream of becoming global citizens. TAFENSW leveraged this program to diversify its own product offerings into study tours, vocational tasters and teacher training, all of which have led to a significant increase in market share in Japan. Ten years on, the partnership is thriving and expanding.


From this e-poster you will be able to explore:

* practical approaches to developing a  student-centred learning app from early scoping to delivery

* research engagement – the process, challenges and advantages of collaborative research methodologies to address diverse stakeholder needs 

* learning from international students through engagement, consultation and review 

* content design – balancing images, avatars, video and gaming elements 

* learning and information methodologies 

* identification of future developments using analytics and data.

Ms Viji Shankar

Marketing Manager – International Business

TAFE NSW Sydney Region

Viji Shankar is the Marketing Manager – International Business for Sydney Region at TAFE NSW. She completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of Madras, India, followed by a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Viji has worked in international education for more than 20 years and is passionate about services marketing and entrepreneurship development. She has worked across private and government organisations and NGOs in countries including Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Vietnam on a number of short-term consultancies for projects funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIH). In her position with TAFE NSW, Viji works with a network of registered education agents in more than 40 countries (including Japan) for international student recruitment. She also undertakes business development fostering and builds business-to-business international partnerships.