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‘Industrious beginning to Industry Strategy’

‘Industrious beginning to Industry Strategy’

Education Exporters meet to discuss a pan industry strategy

“Solid progress and an excellent example of industry cohesion” – that’s the verdict of Education New Zealand Chief Executive Robert Stevens after the first meeting of an international education cross sector representative group who have come together to define an industry strategy for the future. The day long meeting took place last week at the Education New Zealand Offices in Wellington.

The move to a comprehensive industry strategy has come about as a result of the desire to take international education to the next level for the benefit of both students and New Zealand as a whole.

“The last few years have seen a dramatic expansion in international education” said Robert Stevens. “This expansion has altered the whole dynamic of the industry. Add to this the fact that the market continually develops in terms of opportunities and requirements, and it has become apparent to many in the industry that it is time to take stock, clarify our industry goals and objectives and identify the way in which the industry can best position itself to deliver the goods for our country and our students”.

Recent events in the international education sector have highlighted the timeliness of this industry strategy initiative. Changing patterns of student flows and some high profile institutional problems have served as a reminder that any industry is not immune to the realities of market growth and retention. The Government has also taken a wider interest in international education, and is an integral player in the industry with both a legislative role and as an owner of many industry participants.

“This first industry strategy workshop recognised that there is a significant convergence between the objectives of industry and government, and that both private and public providers have a vital and in many cases interlocking role in the industry” said Robert Stevens.

“The industry strategy is not being developed in isolation – it is intended that it will inform and assist government in developing its own policy to further the national objectives”.

Education New Zealand facilitated the meeting which brought together representatives from all sectors of international education. ‘It is an industry-led strategy, tested against the sector realities and tempered by a mutual understanding of the issues and a desire to proactively enhance the industry. The industry is united in its desire to stay in the forefront of international education, and to ensure that it expands as a social, economic and educational catalyst for the enhancement of New Zealand as a whole. Progress on the strategy development is excellent, and industry is intent on keeping the momentum going’.

The next steps will be a distillation of the industries perspectives into a unified vision and set of objectives. Substantial progress on this is planned for the next few weeks.

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