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NZ gov helps fund Taranaki’s unique IE strategy

Taranaki on the north island of New Zealand has developed its own micro international education strategy and attracted investment from the government to help achieve its ambitions of growing its education exports to be worth NZ$19.6 million by 2025.

Cape Egmont lighthouse and Mt Taranaki in New Zealand. The western region of the north island has its own unique ambitions. Photo copyright: Chris Gin

"Many students stay in the region following their studies and start successful careers"

Minister of Education, Steven Joyce, has announced NZ$162,000 in investment to help build international student enrolments, which will broaden the geographic diversity of international students in the country.

The industry is “currently quite dominated by Auckland and Canterbury and we want to see further development in regional areas”, commented Joyce, who was in the region’s capitol, New Plymouth, to announce the investment last month.

The money will be used to implement the regional strategy – via Education New Zealand’s regional partnership programme – which was originally launched last year.

The strategy has six clear goals:

  • Increase student numbers (57 more at secondary / 230 more at tertiary level), boosting membership of the International Education Taranaki consortium and homestay capacity
  • Profile the region for its quality education and safe, fun environment
  • Ensure cohesion between education sectors and links with wider community
  • Encourage further study or post-study work opportunities in the region
  • Engage students with cultural learning opportunities, learning about Maori communities
  • Build productive alumni networks and overseas links

“This is a great example of the economic development agency, local providers and ENZ working together,” said Joyce. “This collaborative approach allows the group to share resources and make strategic and targeted investments together for greater impact.”

The strategy has been developed in association with Venture Taranaki and underlines good detail on the plans, which include leveraging opportunity with New Plymouth’s sister city of Kunming in China and South Taranaki’s twin status with Harbin in China.

Countries of priority interest for recruitment to secondary school markets are China, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, South America and Vanuatu.

For the tertiary sector, represented in the region by Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki and Pacific International Hotel Management School, Indonesia, Vietnam and India are highlighted.

PIHMS offers a guaranteed paid industry placement and the chance for students to live and study in a four-star hotel during their studies.

“Many students stay in the region following their studies and start successful careers,” indicates the Taranaki study and tourism site.

“Taranaki has a wealth of opportunities for employment across a range of careers including oil and gas, farming, food technology, nursing, engineering, agri-tech and tourism. These careers can be combined with an affordable lifestyle.”

The strategy is focusing on the region’s quality, safe attributes and long-term potential as it acknowledges that the rural area might not suit all tastes.

“It can be expensive to go outside the region, which may discourage students who wish to travel during their course of study,” notes the strategy document.

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