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‘Export Education $2.4billion industry’

‘Export Education $2.4billion industry’

Education New Zealand: Media Release 07/08/2008

‘With $2.3 billion of foreign exchange earnings, International Education continues as a major and important economic contributor to the New Zealand economy and way of life’ says Robert Stevens, Chief Executive of Education New Zealand. ‘Economic impact research just released demonstrates unequivocally that foreign students and other education service exports are a reliable and welcome source of earnings in today’s hyper-competitive global marketplace’.

Education New Zealand and the Ministry of Education have co-sponsored a major independent analysis into the economic impact of international education. The study, undertaken by leading research company Infometrics, was commissioned to examine in some detail just what the impact on the New Zealand economy of international students and the export of education services actually is. Previous studies are becoming increasingly outdated as the markets for students has changed by source, sector and type, whilst no reliable information at all existed for offshore provision.

‘It is vital for Industry, Government and other stakeholders such as local authorities to know exactly what this business is worth’ says Robert Stevens. ‘Institutions, ENZ and the Ministry of Education need robust, accurate and assessable information based on sound data collection and analysis. We gave Infometrics a clear brief and a clear hand in order to generate reliable independent data that will give us the definitive picture’.

‘International Education has been a remarkable business success’ says Robert Stevens. ‘Twenty years ago, it was a very modest industry. In the last decade, foreign earnings have gone up over 400%. Markets have ebbed and flowed, but the industry has emerged from an unhealthy dependence on China and developed into a robust and diverse supplier of top quality education services both at home and abroad, with major scope for further expansion into a willing and receptive global market. The future looks bright’.

Highlights from the interim report include:
• $2.3 billion of foreign exchange was generated in the 07/08 year
• $70 million of that was generated by offshore provision
• China is currently the main source of offshore provision earnings
• China is currently the largest source of foreign students, although the number is about half the 2003/4 peak
• English language schools have the largest number of students over the course of a year, but Universities generate the highest per student earnings
• Universities account for around 32% of earnings, with ITP/Polytechs at 9.6%, Schools at 18.6%, private tertiaries at 10.8% and English language providers at 23%

Note that all data is interim – the report is due for completion over the next two months. Due to data collection and analysis, sector performances may differ in the final report.

A draft summary is attached


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