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Export Award For Kapiti English Language Academy

Export Award For Kapiti English Language Academy

Auckland, 29 January 2003 -- Kapiti English Language Academy has won a Trade New Zealand Export Award for achieving annual foreign exchange earnings of more than $2.5 million in just two years of business.

Media are invited to attend the presentation of this Export Award by Trade New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Fran Wilde, on Friday 31 January 2003 at 12 noon in the “big marquee” in the car park of Coastlands Shopping Complex, Paraparaumu. The presentation will start with a Lion Dance to celebrate Chinese New Year. This is the first 2003 Trade New Zealand Export Award presentation.

Established by Managing Director Tony Gan in mid-2000, the Academy targets international students who want to improve their command of English in order to gain entry to New Zealand universities. To strengthen its position in this niche, the Academy has entered into strategic cooperation with Victoria University and Massey University to facilitate students’ entry into those institutions.

Success has been rapid. Since opening, the Academy it has grown from one to four campuses throughout the coastal town of Paraparaumu, with student numbers increasing over the same period from seven to 200.

To date almost all students have come from China. Tony Gan explains a strategic decision was made at the outset to focus marketing resources on one important market, and once that was established expand into other countries.

“We identified China as an emerging market with enormous growth potential. The country has entered the WTO and is hosting the Olympic Games in 2008. We correctly anticipated a growing demand for English language training and overseas qualifications. The New Zealand Government’s decision to remove the quota restrictions on Chinese students also helped to pave the way for us.”

Trade New Zealand Account Manager Dolly Seow-Ganesan congratulated KELA on winning an Export Award.

“The Academy is performing very strongly as an emerging exporter, achieving excellent foreign exchange earnings in a relatively short period,” says Ms Seow-Ganesan. “Its success in China is a solid foundation from which it can now expand into new international markets to ensure the ongoing growth of the business.”

Tony Gan says that while many international students want a big city experience, the Academy has turned its small town location into a competitive advantage.

“We appeal to the hearts of parents so that our location becomes an advantage for students who want a quiet place to study with plenty of opportunity to practice English and enjoy a friendly New Zealand experience by living with homestay families.”

Now employing more than 30 staff, Mr Gan says the Academy is a major employer and wealth generator for the Kapiti region, injecting more than $5 million into the local community annually in accommodation, food and fees. He says the Academy has changed the face of Paraparaumu, a small town located 40km north of Wellington.

“Having virtually no Asians in Paraparaumu in 2000 to now some 200 faces appearing everywhere has definitely changed the social landscape of the area. To assist with the students’ integration into the local community, we work with the Kapiti Council to promote safe driving and organise students to participate in voluntary services, including planting trees and cleaning the beach. We also promote social integration by

assisting our students to join social and sports clubs and encouraging them to participate in the family life of their homestays.”

Kapiti Coast District Mayor Alan Milne acknowledged the Academy’s positive impact on the region.

“As a community, your contribution to our local economy is very significant and is greatly appreciated by the individuals and businesses benefiting from your success.”

The Academy was amongst one of the first institutions in New Zealand to become a signatory to the Ministry of Education’s Code of Practice for the pastoral care of international students and Mr Gan says the business puts a major emphasis on student welfare. It recognises that the most effective means of marketing is by word of mouth, and student feedback forms a crucial part of its quality management system. The Academy has also established an effective overseas agent network to assist with promotion and student recruitment in the market.

“In order to compete internationally on quality education and service, we have only engaged the services of licensed education agents and during the formative stages used Trade New Zealand to help source those agents. Effective use of technology enables us to maintain a 24-hour turnaround time for dealing with overseas enquiries and applications and maintain close contact with our agents.”

Mr Gan recognised the important role the Academy’s staff have played in building the business to being a multi-million dollar export earner. He says the next objective is to broaden the student base beyond China and he is currently working with Trade New Zealand to explore opportunities in Mexico and Indonesia. The Academy is also looking at expanding its programme to include business studies as well as English language courses.

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