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German Market Brief

German Market Brief

Germany March 2003 Germany is a key European market for international education in New Zealand, and considerable market development work is paying off as numbers of German students in New Zealand are rising steadily. Last year, 1491 German students came to New Zealand to further their education, and Germany has outstripped Switzerland as the leading source of students from this part of the world.

Demand for English is still strong in the German market, and just over 1000 students studied in specialist English language institutions last year. However, German participation is growing in all sectors of the system, and secondary schools and Universities in particular are placing increasing numbers of German students. Growth has been steady across all sectors for the last 5 years, and looks set to continue. Global market conditions may play a part here, as the numbers of German students heading for the U.S. decreased markedly after September 11, and may continue to decline as a result of events in the Middle East.

Whilst global factors may impact the market, New Zealand is placing its main reliance on strong pro-active marketing to German students. The joint Education New Zealand and Trade New Zealand ‘Five Steps Forward’ marketing strategy recognises the importance of Germany, and initiatives in place for this year and planned for next year will help New Zealand institutions increase their share of the German market.

Because of the different educational semester times in the Northern Hemisphere, German students often enrol mid year for courses. Attending a New Zealand secondary school for 6 or 12 months is becoming quite popular, and if they time it right German students can undertake six months of study here without losing any time in their domestic system. New Zealand’s ‘outdoors’ lifestyle and the ease of access to the full range of outdoor activities are very attractive to German students, and they appreciate the ‘clean green’ feel of the country. Not surprisingly, some of the most successful institutions in the German market are those who have programmes that emphasise the great outdoors, and are located in some of the more picturesque parts of the country!

Europe is a challenging but rewarding market for New Zealand institutions, which are increasingly looking to diversify the range of markets from which they get students. Diversity greatly enhances the educational and social benefits of having international students, as well as lessening the dependence and consequent risk of a narrow market base. The success in opening up the German market proves that with hard work this country can attract European students, and provides a base for future development. It pays off for the country as a whole as well - last year the German international education market was worth nearly $20 million dollars to the New Zealand economy.

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