Offshore education mooted as next step
More international students will be able to stay in their home countries to study here if Education New Zealand has its way.
In a briefing document to Education Minister Chris Hipkins, it recommended increasing its global reach and offering studies to potential students who could not afford to ‘‘physically study and live’’ in New Zealand.
Hipkins was also told to refocus the country’s educational promotions away from China and India, and primarily target potential students from Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Chile.
Less than 5 per cent of New Zealand’s international education was available offshore, and it was worth $242 million in a $4.5 billion industry, the document said.
Australia had already captured 30 per cent of foreign students by offering offshore studies, while the United Kingdom held 50 per cent of the market.
‘‘Growing our offshore education products and services offers the opportunity to grow the industry,’’ the document said.
Education New Zealand said plans to grow our offshore education was ‘‘ad-hoc and fragmented’’ and this country was not a topthree preferred education destination for 87 per cent of people.
International education is the fourth-largest export and secondlargest service export in New Zealand. But offshore study would keep the average international student’s yearly expenditure of $33,460 overseas as well.
Last year, 131,609 international students from 170 countries were enrolled in New Zealand courses that ranged from two weeks to several years. Of those students, 3217 studied offshore.
The briefing document said there was a need to expand the international student ‘‘fixation’’ with Auckland out into the regions.
It also said New Zealand was over-reliant on foreign students from China and India.
Education New Zealand wanted to diversify its international students by promoting study here to 10 countries from Indonesia to Europe. But it would continue its relationships with China and India, which dominate over half the international student market in New Zealand.
The moves aim to boost the education industry to a $5b enterprise by 2025.
A Tertiary Education Commission briefing to Hipkins also said the sector’s $452m debt was expect ed to rise to $697m by 2018.
‘‘The sector’s response over the last decade has been weak in this critical issue’’.