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International Education Package Welcomed

Media Release
11 May 2004

International Education Package Welcomed

A $40 million international education industry package announced by the Government today has been welcomed by the NZ Vice-Chancellors’ Committee.

NZVCC Executive Director Mr Lindsay Taiaroa says the package represents a shift away from a strictly commercial approach to the industry through an emphasis on education diplomacy, scholarships, innovation and promotion.

The advent of scholarships for international students constituted a broadening of the Government’s policy objectives in international education with awards available at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

“Similarly, the Study Aboard awards announced today are a positive development in that they will strengthen perhaps the weakest part of New Zealand’s current strategy surrounding the internationalization of education. The process is essentially two-way and sending New Zealanders abroad for courses of study has obvious benefits for education in this country,” Mr Taiaroa says.

While the Government’s package, part of the 2004 Budget, included an element of improved quality assurance, it was important to note that New Zealand university programmes offered offshore were already quality assured through university processes, the Committee on University Academic Programmes and the New Zealand Universities Academic Audit Unit.

Mr Taiaroa says approximately 23,000 fee-paying international students attended New Zealand universities last year, a dramatic increase on the equivalent figure for 2001 of 8200. In 2003 there were also some 2000 international students in the New Zealand university system through various forms of international and diplomatic assistance programmes.

“The latter aspect demonstrates the importance the global community places on the internationalization of education and it is good to see New Zealand taking the initiative to strengthen its contribution in this field. As the Government says, it is critically important to have a strong international dimension to our education system.”

ENDS

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