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Auckland welcomes international students

10 March 2006

Auckland welcomes international students

Auckland welcomed more than 1000 new international students today at a civic ceremony at Auckland's Town Hall.

The students, who will be studying at high schools, language schools, private training establishments and tertiary institutions within the Auckland region, experienced a powhiri and kapa haka as part of the civic welcome.

Councillor John Hinchcliff, chairperson of Auckland City Council's Partnerships Committee, said the influx of international students brings many benefits to Auckland City.

"While the international students receive the benefits of a world-class education and lifestyle, our city also benefits as it becomes a more cosmopolitan and vibrant place to live, work and play," said Councillor Hinchcliff.

International education is an important part of Auckland's economy, with 49,594 students studying in the Auckland region and an economic benefit of more than $1 billion per year. The Auckland region has more than 52 per cent of all international students in New Zealand.

Tourism Auckland chief executive, Graeme Osborne, says international students play an important part in Auckland's tourism industry.

"We know that many international students get out and experience Auckland's activities and attractions while they are here. Many also get involved in part time work while they are studying, further benefiting the hospitality and tourism sectors," he said.

"The students are often visited by friends and family from overseas while they are here, which boosts Auckland's tourism sector. Ultimately, these students return to their countries as global advocates of destination Auckland," he said.

Councillor Hinchcliff said Auckland City works closely with partners like Study Auckland, schools, universities and tertiary education institutions to ensure the level of international education in Auckland grows in a sustainable way.

"International education is important to both our economy and in building political and cultural ties that benefit Auckland City and our international friends," said Councillor Hinchcliff. "To achieve this, 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," said Councillor Hinchcliff.

The civic welcome was organised by Study Auckland, a department of Tourism Auckland, in association with Auckland City Council.

ENDS

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