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Wellington aims to double int’l students by 2023

Education institutions in Wellington, New Zealand are developing a new High Growth Strategy for International Education which aims to double the number of overseas students in the region by 2023.

Photo: Phillip Capper.

“The opportunities for tertiary experience here will be enhanced as will our individual and collective reputations"

Facilitated by Wellington City Council, the strategy includes a commitment from each of the region’s tertiary institutions that overseas students will make up 15% of their total enrolments within the next five years.

“We all spend significant amounts marketing our individual institutions and believe we can get a bigger impact by sharing this to an agreed business model”

There will also be sector-wide collaboration between universities, polytechnics, private English language and training providers and schools to increase coordination of their current approaches to foreign student recruitment.

“There is great potential in working more closely with other providers to not only attract more international students to secondary schools but also to send them on to a tertiary institution when they finish their secondary programme,” commented Julia Davidson, Principal of Wellington Girls’ College.

“The opportunities for tertiary experience here during their time with us will also be enhanced as will our individual and collective reputations.”

Other areas of collaboration will also include shared marketing efforts and collectively addressing student needs such as accommodation.

“We all spend significant amounts marketing our individual institutions and programmes and believe we can get a bigger impact by sharing this to an agreed business model,” Don Campbell, Chief Executive of Whitireia New Zealand, a tertiary institute of technology with four campuses country-wide, told The PIE News.

He added that the increased collaboration will enable institutions to identify areas where Wellington is “underperforming” in attracting international students.

An implementation plan is still under development, but will include a global marketing campaign, including in existing markets.

A planned extension of Wellington International Airport’s runway will be “crucial” to the strategy, said Campbell, and will “reduce a current barrier” to student access and perception of the region.

The NZ$350m extension will bring an extra 16-33 extra flights into the capital a week by 2060, creating connections to long-haul destinations in Asia and North America and increasing connections to Australia.

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