9 May 2018 at 9:00 am

International education report highlights broad value for New Zealand

Education New Zealand (ENZ) Chief Executive Grant McPherson today announced the release of a research report that identifies the broader value that international education delivers for New Zealand in addition to its economic impact. 

The report draws on international research findings from Australia, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom which are among the largest providers of international education globally. Case studies featuring interviews with New Zealanders – involving a school in Invercargill, an engineering business in Auckland, the New Zealand Embassy in Brazil, and a tourism operation in Rotorua – explore the findings in a New Zealand context.

ENZ commissioned Research New Zealand to prepare the report Beyond the Economic – How International Education Delivers Broad Value for New Zealand to better understand international education’s contribution domestically and to provide an evidence base for this.

Mr McPherson said that while the sector is a strong performer economically, the report highlights a range of other ways in which international education contributes to New Zealand.

“The report confirmed that the broader benefits of international education can include introducing innovation to workplaces, developing entrepreneurial ventures, filling specialist domestic skills shortages and helping to build New Zealand’s global linkages,” he said.

“They also include community-based and cultural benefits as well as education benefits resulting from the presence of international students in our schools and campuses and in our communities generally and their families who come to visit.”

Mr McPherson said the international research confirmed that domestic students gain significant cultural and educational value from studying alongside international peers but substantial, planned interaction is required to make the most of the opportunities offered.

“Many New Zealand firms also know they have to be more culturally aware to reach their key markets, but they don’t know how. International students can solve this problem for them.

“We know that, when selecting new employees, Kiwi employers are seeking intercultural and language abilities and cultural awareness in addition to technical skills. These competencies can be developed by Kiwi students learning alongside international students.”

The onshore economic impact of international education as an industry was last measured in 2016 at $4.5 billion. It also supports more than 33,000 jobs across New Zealand. 

The Government is developing a new International Education Strategy for New Zealand, which is planned for release later this year.

The full report Beyond the Economic – How International Education Delivers Broad Value for New Zealand is available here.

Media contact: 

Kate Barlow

Senior Communications Advisor

P: 021525387

E: kate.barlow@enz.govt.nz

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