Export education booms at $2.85 billion

Steven Joyce

Steven Joyce 

International education continues to be a star performer in New Zealand’s export-led growth according to latest data.

The ‘International Education Snapshot Report’ released last month shows that the international education industry grew strongly throughout 2014 and it is now valued at $2.85 billion.

As further proof of the industry’s strong performance, it is now supporting more than 30,000 jobs in New Zealand.

Increasing numbers

The January to August 2014 results show 12% increase in student numbers (approximately 10,100 students) compared with the same period in 2013.

This saw an $83 million boost in tuition fee income, accounting for 13% increase on the previous year’s figures.

The increase in fee income is revenue that institutions can channel back into programmes or facilities to benefit their students, staff and local communities.

It is pleasing to see that student numbers are now at the highest level compared to the last four years.  It is particularly pleasing to see a big lift in higher-level study, with 41% increase in the number of students studying for postgraduate level qualifications.

Great Export Earner

International education continues to be a very important export earner for New Zealand.  International students also help to build our country’s links with our trading partners and they enrich the communities in which they live and study.

The report shows that growth was led by the Private Training Establishment (PTE) sector, with student numbers up 21% and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics, up by 16%.

Christchurch recovers

Other highlights include Canterbury’s international education industry continuing to recover with enrolments returning close to 2011 levels, up 17%, and secondary school sector enrolments up 3%.

The Report also indicated that the outlook for the international education sector continues to be strong.  Total student visas for August to November 2014 were up 27% compared to 2013.

Government agencies will continue their work with the sector in 2015 to help institutions achieve sustainable growth right around the country.

Steven Joyce is Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister.

Our Staff Reporter adds: 

Tertiary Education and Skills Training Programmes will undergo major changes and funding will depend on the number of graduates getting jobs, Mr Joyce said, speaking at the tenth anniversary celebrations of the New Zealand School of Education at Sky City Convention Centre on December 11, 2014 (Indian Newslink, December 15, 2014).

Significant changes

He said that his Ministry would announce ‘an avalanche of changes’ shortly revamping the tertiary education sector and put in place a new system of assessment of Private Training Establishments (PTEs) and tertiary education providers.

“Education must lead to skills development and be relevant to the needs of the New Zealand economy. Our new Strategy will focus on six core factors namely, Performance of PTEs and education providers, Developing Skills, Getting people started on their careers, Boosting the achievements of Maori and Pasifika, Adult Literacy and International students.

Revisiting Education

Mr Joyce said that there was a pronounced need to revisit tertiary education and make it more relevant to the changing needs of the society and the world.

“The Government is funding education, which is taxpayers’ money. We must ensure that such funding accrues the right results,” he said.

The Government is committed to invest a whopping $831 million on education over the next four years and the thinking in Wellington is that the beneficiary institutions should be made more accountable.

Earlier, NZSE Managing Director Brijesh Sethi said that his institution, with three campuses, was celebrating not only its tenth anniversary but also the success of its students over the years.

“We mark this important milestone with a renewed commitment to providing alternative tertiary education opportunities for Kiwis and international students. The aim is to help them transform their lives through the power of learning. Our key focus is on giving second chance learners an opportunity to embrace an exciting tertiary educational experience,” he said.

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