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Huge potential for New Zealand in export education

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Social Services and Employment
Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)
Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
MP for Palmerston North

03 May 2000

New Zealand has the potential to become a major provider of education services to the Asia-Pacific region, the Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education), Steve Maharey, said this evening.

Mr Maharey was speaking to over 500 international students and their families attending a commencement ceremony at the Palmerston North-based International Pacific College. Educational services currently earn around $0.5b annually. Mr Maharey said the Government was developing an export education strategy to substantially increase this revenue stream.

"Export education has the potential to be a more important foreign exchange earner than our wine industry. The Government is working on an export education strategy to build the capacity of our educational institutions to deliver quality education services.

"New Zealand has many natural advantages as an export education provider. An English-speaking nation, we are a safe country, have a stable political environment and we enjoy an international reputation for warm hospitality to overseas visitors.

"International students know that they can expect to receive a high standard of internationally-recognised education and that they will enjoy good living conditions.

"In addition to foreign exchange earnings New Zealand has much to gain from allowing foreign students access to our education system. These include a higher international profile for our education sector, new opportunities to develop linkages with overseas institutions and an increase in the uptake of leading edge technologies by our education providers.

"The export education strategy I am bringing together will provide a coherent and consistent strategy for promoting New Zealand's education services", Steve Maharey said.


Contact: Michael Gibbs, Press Secretary, (04) 471 9154 or (025) 270 9115. The attached facts sheet details the export education industry in New Zealand.

Fact sheet: New Zealand's export education industry

The prospects for significant growth in the number of international students are good - with global numbers of international students projected to double over the next decade. Furthermore, with 0.4% of the global market of international students, there is room for New Zealand to increase its market share of the expanding numbers of students.

Exporting New Zealand's education and training services is estimated to be valued from a conservative estimate of around $340M per year up to $500M per year. This includes purchasing of education services (tuition fees paid by international students) and the purchase of other services and products (travel, food, accommodation and entertainment).

If it is assumed that the value of the industry is towards $500m per annum then it represents the fourth largest service sector exporter (after travel, transportation, and miscellaneous business services), and the fourteenth largest export sector. Therefore, expansion of this industry will contribute significantly to employment growth in high skill, knowledge based industries.


Sector profiles*

Secondary schools sector
 5,044 students at 1 July 1999.
 top ten countries of origin: Japan; South Korea; People’s Republic of China; Thailand; Chinese Taipei; Hong Kong; Brazil; Indonesia; Germany; Papua New Guinea
 foreign exchange earnings in 1999: $114m


Tertiary sector
 6344 students at 1 July 1999
 top ten countries of origin: Malaysia; Japan; People’s Republic of China; Hong Kong; Chinese Taipei; South Korea; Thailand; Indonesia; United States of America; Singapore
 foreign exchange earnings in 1999: $223m


English language sector
 15,718 students in 1999
 top ten countries of origin: Japan; Korea; Taiwan; People's Republic of China; Thailand; Hong Kong; Vietnam; Indonesia
 foreign exchange earnings in 1999: $97m

* Note: foreign exchange earnings figures are estimated. Source: Ministry of Education (student numbers and country of origin information) and Trade New Zealand (foreign exchange earnings).

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