Border Milestone For Education Sector Sees Taranaki Welcome Over 70 New International Students
Taranaki educational institutions are celebrating with the arrival of over 70 international students in region as New Zealand’s borders reopen for offshore education in time for schools’ third term and universities’ second semester.
Tertiary institutions the Pacific International Hotel Management School (PIHMS) and Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT), along with schools Spotswood College, New Plymouth Boys High School, Green School, and Francis Douglas Memorial College have all welcomed new international students.
Venture Taranaki Talent Advisor Rachael Berndt says welcoming offshore students back to Taranaki presents a wealth of additional social and cultural benefits via the students, who also represent a significant opportunity to help boost the regional economy.
“The early August milestone was a starting point to revitalising the international education sector, although we still have a way to go. It’s exciting to have most of the students already landed, and we look forward to welcoming back even more students to Taranaki.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Taranaki welcomed over 1,000 international students to the region and international education supported 330 jobs, and contributed around $50 million to the Taranaki economy.
“With international students now able to enrol to study in New Zealand, we’ll continue to position Taranaki as a desirable place to undertake study and prepare students for the future; with a like no other lifestyle to match,” Berndt says.
“With our diverse range of education providers around the maunga catering to international students, we hope to see student numbers increase year after year, getting back to pre-Covid levels that directly support a significant proportion of the community through job creation and contribution to GDP.”
Mayor South Taranaki District and Chair of the Taranaki Mayoral Forum Phil Nixon says while international students provide enormous benefit to Taranaki, they also gain so much from the experiences.
"It will come as no surprise as to what attracts international students to learn in Taranaki – our friendly people, affordable living, quality tertiary institutions like WITT and PIHMS, pathways to employment in our major sectors, our cultural heritage and, of course, our position as New Zealand’s sunniest region.”
As part of the intake of offshore students, WIIT had the region’s largest intake with 17 full-time international students, and an additional 31 nurses on the Competency Assessment Programme - a qualification to gain New Zealand nursing registration. Study pathways include programmes in IT, business, engineering and cookery.
PIHMS welcomed 14 students from India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Germany. The students have begun arriving in the country where they will go on to gain qualifications in the hospitality sector, an industry crying out for additional staff.
“PIHMS welcomes news of the border openings and can now move ahead with more certainty in recruitment activities with its international partners,” PIHMs CEO Bill McCallum says.
“Recovering to pre-COVID numbers, will take several years, however, at least there is some light at the end of an extremely challenging 2.5-year tunnel.”