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Export Award For Victoria University

Export Award For Victoria University - High Achiever

Wellington, May 15, 2003 -- Achieving very strong growth in annual foreign exchange earnings and international student numbers has seen Victoria University win a Trade New Zealand Export for the second consecutive year.

(Note to editors: Media are invited to attend the presentation of the Trade New Zealand Export Award to Victoria University by the Minister of Education, the Honourable Trevor Mallard, on Thursday 15 May, at 9.45am, at Council Chamber, Hunter Building, Kelburn Parade, Victoria University, Wellington.)

Tim Fowler, Director of Victoria International, says overseas student numbers increased from 952 in 2001 to 1400 in 2002, with foreign earnings growing from $10.17 million to $17.3 million over the same period. Mr Fowler says the big jump in student numbers is the result of several factors.

“We are seeing continued strong growth out of China and the United States,” says Mr Fowler. “Whereas a few years ago it was Australia, New Zealand is now the new hot ticket for study abroad experiences for US and Northern European students. We are also seeing really encouraging signs of growth from India, Japan and Korea.”

Mr Fowler says while Victoria University delivers degree programmes and short-term programmes to students from 75 countries, it takes a very strategic approach to marketing, with the majority of its international student body coming from selected key countries.

“We actively market in only 13 countries. We are focused in the way in which we develop current and emerging markets, and plan very carefully entry into new markets.

“Our developed markets are China, Singapore and Malaysia, and our strong emerging markets are India, Korea and the USA.”

Mr Fowler says Korea has become an increasingly important source of international students after the university won a three-year contract with Chosun University. This sees at least 100 students come to Victoria University annually to complete a tailored 18 week intensive English language and academic programme.

International education is a very competitive industry, and Mr Fowler says Victoria University has worked hard to distinguish itself from competitors.

“Wellington and Victoria University have some unique selling features and benefits and those are the sorts of elements we are building on in our marketing – especially the unique relationship between government, business and academia in a modern and cool city.”

Mr Fowler says the university is well on its way to achieving its goal of 20% of revenue generated from international students by 2011.

“We are in the phase now of ensuring we manage our growth in order to build a sustainable business for the next period in the University’s history. We want to maintain student numbers, continue to develop our brand, and add extra value to the student experience.

“A priority is continuous improvement of our systems and processes and increasing the opportunities to develop our staff, who are our greatest asset.”

Trade New Zealand Account Manager Dolly Seow-Ganesan congratulated Victoria University on its Trade New Zealand Export Award.

“The university is taking a very strategic approach to its international business in order to maintain the quality of its programmes and service, in order to enhance the experience of its international and New Zealand students alike.

“It’s wonderful to see the special relationship the staff at Victoria International have with the students. The quality of pastoral care received by International students at Victoria University is a testament to the university’s commitment to internationalisation. Victoria University is taking a lead role in New Zealand flourishing education export industry.”

Tim Fowler says Victoria International is being consistent to its brand values, especially in relation to quality, and still achieving growth targets.

“We have worked ourselves into a position where we can now pick and choose students and the partners we want to work with. We have got a wonderful 104-year-old brand behind us and an international operation that is growing and that is here for the long term. This is an emerging industry and a very exciting one to be involved in.”

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