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Numbers Up, Income Down for Eng language providers

‘Numbers Up, Income Down for English language providers’

Education New Zealand: Media Release 02/08/2005

International Educators in New Zealand continue to face a challenging market, according to the Survey of English language providers released today by Statistics New Zealand. The overall numbers of students rose slightly in the year to March 2005, but the value of tuition and related fees went down by 26.7%.

‘These figures confirm the situation that the industry has faced for some time’ says Robert Stevens, Chief Executive of Education New Zealand. ‘It’s a tough global market out there, and it isn’t getting any easier. However, of the 26 individual markets reported on in the survey, 21 are showing increased numbers and 14 are showing increased value. In addition, the numbers and value for the collective minor markets are up markedly. This demonstrates that our language providers are doing a great job of meeting the market challenge, diversifying into new markets and developing products that suit the customer. In regions as diverse as Europe, the Middle East and South America, language schools are carving out exciting new markets’.

‘The overall rise in the number of students is interesting, and proves that New Zealand continues to be an excellent choice for international students wishing to learn English’ says Robert Stevens. ‘The lower value of tuition reflects in part a change towards shorter courses, which is a global trend. The fact that our language providers can compete effectively for shorter course students, where the travel costs inherent in coming to New Zealand are magnified, speaks very positively about the high quality of our providers, and the respect with which they are held. Language schools are also having to adjust fees to stimulate demand. This is due to the impact of the dollar and stiff competition.

‘The private language sector is a vital component of New Zealand’s overall international education mix’ says Robert Stevens. ‘It is the sector that can best cater for demand elasticity, and that has the flexibility to meet changing market conditions and product requirements. Today’s figures show that whilst times remain tough, our language industry is rising to the occasion’.

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