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Ed providers challenged to ‘move with the times'

Education providers challenged to ‘move with the times’

“To sustain growth and yield in the long term, education exporters must move with the times and embrace new modes of supply”.

This challenge came from Robert Stevens, the new Chief Executive of the Education New Zealand Trust at the 12th Annual International Education Conference in Wellington.

Addressing the 300 plus conference delegates, Mr Stevens said the nature and scope of the international education industry is changing rapidly.

“New Zealand is at risk of declining market share unless we think strategically in the medium term and embrace new modes of supply” he said.

“In particular, this includes cross border supply and commercial presence in other countries”.

Mr Stevens said New Zealand’s approach to international education was risky because we educate almost all of our 89,000 international students within New Zealand.

“This exposes the industry to all the risks associated with cross-border travel including fears about terrorism, SARS preventing travel, and visa difficulties”. Mr Stevens said New Zealand providers need only look to Australia to see the future potential created by providing education services in students’ home countries.

“In some markets Australian education providers are educating close to 40% of international students in their home country”.

Mr Stevens said the current WTO GATS round has the potential for overseas governments to offer international education providers greater certainty of operating environment – making it easier to establish an offshore presence.

“There is a real prospect of a future boom in offshore commercial presence and cross-border supply for education,” he said.

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