New Zealand boosts promotion of education to foreign students

15:25, May 26, 2011      

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New Zealand is almost doubling the amount of money it spends promoting its education system to foreign students.

The new international education agency would have a budget of 84 million NZ dollars (68.01 million U.S. dollars) over four years, almost double the amount allocated to its predecessors, the government announced Thursday.

Most of the extra money would be directed towards marketing when the agency began operating on Sept. 1, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said in a statement.

The figure compared to the 44 million NZ dollars that was previously split across the Ministry of Education, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, and the Education New Zealand trust, said the statement.

Joyce said the big increase recognized the very significant contribution that international education made to New Zealand's economic growth, and its potential to contribute further over the next 15 years and beyond.

"International education contributes at least 2.3 billion (NZ) dollars to our economy. It supports about 32,000 jobs. And the sale of our education expertise overseas is estimated to be worth at least 100 million (NZ) dollars annually," he said.

The new funding would be used for strategic promotion abroad and building on bilateral education relationships with key trading and education partner countries and regions.

"As the industry moves to recover from the Christchurch earthquake, this extra funding will help reassure students that New Zealand is a safe place to get an education," said Joyce.

"The extra funding, together with the merging of the efforts of the three agencies, will provide a much sharper focus in our national-level international education marketing and representation. I'm expecting higher visibility and better value for money."

The new agency was announced last month when the country was still counting the cost of the Feb. 22 Christchurch earthquake, which killed 181 people, including a number of foreign students.

Source: Xinhua

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