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Council sharpens focus on foreign student industry

Council sharpens focus on foreign student industry

Auckland City has stepped up its involvement in the export education industry.

Auckland City’s Strategy and Governance Committee resolved today to take stock of the industry, which has become New Zealand’s fourth largest export earner, expected soon to pass timber and fisheries.

Auckland attracts the country’s biggest share of the estimated $1.7 billion industry with at least $450 million of that coming to the city.

Chairperson of the council’s Strategy and Governance Committee Councillor Mark Donnelly says, “No other industry in New Zealand has recently seen the same phenomenal growth as export education. A gap exists in research and analysis of industry data. We just don’t have the necessary hard facts and figures.”

The council intends to work in partnership with agencies within the industry to encourage comprehensive research into the role of the industry in the Auckland economy, such as the costs and benefits, its long-term sustainability and the risks of any industry downturn.

“In particular we need to partner and maintain relationships within the industry, and to continue our support for Study Auckland – a co-operative grouping of industry members that we will also work with to advocate for the sustainable growth,” Mr Donnelly says.

The council’s regulatory and planning groups will also look at how to address the particular pressures the industry can place on inner city services, public transport and rental accommodation in the CBD.

Mr Donnelly says, “We want to take a strategic view of the industry and ensure that it continues to be an important growth sector of the Auckland economy. We recognise that the quality of the student experience must be of the highest standard and that this includes both the academic and social experiences students have.”

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