International education contributing to NZ regional growth

New research has revealed that an increase in international education is reaping economic rewards for regions across New Zealand.

Findings from eight regional economic impact reports reveal that International education is making an important contribution to economic development and GDP growth in all NZ’s regions. The highest contribution in the new series of reports is attributed to Dunedin, at NZ$117m for 2015/16. The reports detail living costs, tuition fees, average spend per student, the number of jobs supported and economic value.

“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,” said Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith.

“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.”

The research follows the release of a report in November 2016, The Economic Impact of International Education 2015/16. This report looked at the national picture and the larger centres of Auckland, Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato and Otago. The total economic value of NZ’s international education industry was put at NZ$4.28 billion. It is the country’s 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 continues. “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 NZ, and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Article published 14th March 2017