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International education contributing to regional growth

Hon Paul Goldsmith

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment
14 March 2017
International education contributing to regional growth

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith has welcomed today’s publication of new research on the economic benefits of international education for regions across New Zealand.

The eight regional economic impact reports detail living costs, tuition fees, average spend per student, the number of jobs supported and economic value for Northland, Bay of Plenty (including Tauranga, the Western Bay of Plenty, and Rotorua), Taranaki, Manawatu-Whanganui, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson-Marlborough-Tasman, Otago (including Dunedin and Queenstown) and Southland.

“These findings help give us a more complete picture and gain a deeper understanding of the economic outcomes our regions are seeing due to the growth of international education, as well as where the opportunities lie,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“While the financial return of the international education sector is important, we are also seeing positive experiences and value for Kiwi learners, business and communities, thanks to the sector’s ability to link individuals, businesses, institutions and communities with international markets.”

International education is making an important contribution to economic development and GDP growth in our regions. The highest contribution in the new series of reports is attributed to Dunedin, at $117m for 2015/16.

The research follows the release of a report in November 2016, The Economic Impact of International Education 2015/16, which looked at the New Zealand-wide picture and the larger centres of Auckland, Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato and Otago. The total economic value of New Zealand’s international education industry was put at $4.28 billion, making it our fourth largest export industry.

The international education sector is also creating and supporting jobs across the regions, with the sector directly linked to the creation of 504 jobs in the Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty area alone.

“International education is a significant export industry for New Zealand, and it is important that we know whether the benefits delivered are worth the investment made by government and our regions,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“These eight regional reports will enable providers and regional agencies to make informed decisions around potential investments in international education, removing some risk from the process.”

The regional reports were produced by Infometrics and the National Research Bureau (NRB) for Education New Zealand in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Statistics New Zealand, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Education New Zealand (ENZ) commissioned the research as part of its Regional Partnership Programme, designed to support the development of international education across New Zealand and ensure that smaller communities are also able to see the benefits of the sector.

The eight regional Infometrics and NRB reports can be found HERE.


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