We helped to develop a strategy that recognises the potential contribution of international education to Northland from a cultural, social and economic standpoint.
This project began with the Level team recognising a clear gap in Northland’s understanding of, and approach to, the youth tourism market – specifically international students. With a business case and funding proposal in place, we engaged Northland Inc and Education New Zealand to support the strategy development.
We developed the strategy on behalf of Northland Inc and Education New Zealand, through extensive industry research and engagement, exploring opportunities to rethink how products and services within international education are delivered, and how the education sector could work more closely with other sectors such as business development, regional promotion, trade and enterprise, community organisations and – most importantly – with each other. One of the strategic outcomes was to support improved internationalisation of Northland business activities.
International Education is one of New Zealand’s largest export earners, and up until 2018, Northland was attracting less than half a per cent (42%) of that market. The strategy was officially launched in November 2017 by Northland Inc and had clear goals around economic, social and cultural outcomes, for international students, local students, and for Northland. The strategy has been positioned within the wider economic development focus of the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan (TTNEAP) and has since resulted in the formation of the Tai Tokerau International Education Advisory Board, Study Northland, and continued growth in the voice of Northland in the international education market.
This project involved working with many stakeholders across multiple industries and bringing them together to develop a united purpose and vision. Working closely with Northland Inc and iwi representatives, we were able to bring the voice of Te Tai Tokerau to the table, ensuring that the strategy outcomes were designed to be of cultural, social and economic benefit to not only international students but Tangata Whenua and local students also.
Creating a regional body for international education in Northland
One of the key outcomes of the Tai Tokerau International Education Strategy was a recommendation and plan to form Study Northland, a new official regional body for international education in Northland. Study Northland works with schools and tertiary institutions helping to promote Northland domestically and internationally as a study destination and to improve the experiences of international students studying in the region. The body is now playing a critical role in showcasing Northland to international students around the world.
“I am incredibly impressed with this work – well done. The strategy is an excellent comprehensive way of leading Northland towards an international education future that is integrated, respected and thriving. You have integrated the unique and welcoming cultural values of Northland into a sustainable, creative and truly strategic framework and action plan.”
Sarah Gauthier - Regional Project Manager, ENZ