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International students worth $930m to Auckland

Report confirms international students worth $930m to Auckland city

The impact of foreign students on Auckland’s economy has been measured for the first time in a report commissioned by Auckland City.

The interim findings of the report from Infometrics Consulting were released at an international education event on Tuesday evening (4 November) co-hosted by Auckland City, Study Auckland and the University of Auckland.

Councillor Mark Donnelly, chairperson of the Strategy and Governance Committee, says “The report was commissioned to provide information on how the export education industry has developed and some insight into what is needed to achieve continued and sustainable growth.”

“The international student industry brings $930 million a year into the city making it a significant economic contributor. The knock-on economic impact of each student on the wider community is immense. The industry is worth as much to the people of Auckland as if we held an America’s Cup event every year,” Mr Donnelly says.

A large proportion goes into the wider community. While students spend $240 million within Auckland city on tuition costs, $690 million is spent on additional activities like homestays, flatting and teachers salaries. The industry also creates 12,800 full time jobs in the Auckland region (2.7 per cent of total jobs), of which 2,500 are in the CBD (4.7 per cent of total jobs).

Over the past few years the industry in Auckland has seen a phenomenal growth rate of 57 per cent per annum, with foreign fee-paying student numbers estimated to be 36,300 in Auckland city (nearly 20,000 in the CBD). That rate of growth has now slowed. “It creates an ideal opportunity for Auckland City to play a part in planning strategically to protect the future of the industry. To this end Auckland City will work in partnership with the industry to ensure the needs of students and the wider community are met,” Mr Donnelly adds.

A further report is due in December. The findings will be used to identify areas for potential council involvement. These include institution infrastructure, transport planning, planning for an education precinct, government advocacy, rental space and accommodation issues, open space planning (especially in the CBD), communication and marketing, support of student care, and the general management of the industry’s sustainability.

The report also says the industry has an economic impact of 1.290 billion a year for the whole Auckland region, which hosts 44,600 foreign fee-paying students.

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