Sister City Programmes Bring Students To Auckland
Young people who come to Auckland as a part of the Sister City programme are returning in droves to become students in the city.
Auckland City council, which has five sister cities, has just done a study on the benefits of its international relationships and found that at least a third of the international students who come to study in the city, come as a result of Sister City relationships.
Study Auckland, the body responsible for promoting Auckland as an educational destination, says that for many Asian cities, especially Guangzhou with whom Auckland has had a sister city relationship for 13 years, this portion is nearly 50 per cent.
Angela Miller, the project manager for Study Auckland, says that translating the number of students into the direct economic benefit they bring to the city works out to more than $109 million each year.
Auckland City Mayor John Banks says this translates into 2809 fulltime jobs being sustained each year. This figure is based on only 30 per cent of international students coming to Auckland as a direct result of the Sister City relationship.
Mr Banks says, however, that the number of people directly employed as the result of the large number of international students choosing to live and study in Auckland is much higher.
Ms Miller says youth and sporting exchanges arranged through sister city contacts bring young people to Auckland and because of the positive experience they often return to study.
Mr Banks says, "Auckland City has no intention of 'dropping the ball' when it comes to tapping into the huge potential for further growth in the international student market and our Sister City programme is very much part of fostering that relationship."
Auckland has five sister cities – Los Angeles, Brisbane, Pusan in Korea, Guangzhou in China and Fukuoka in Japan. Auckland City also has friendship relationships with Shinagawa and Tomioka, Japan.