The strategy is being delivered on behalf of lead agency Northland Inc, and in partnership with Education New Zealand, through its Regional Partnership Programme.
International Education is well recognised as New Zealand’s fifth largest export earner, making it vital to the New Zealand economy from both a national and
regional perspective. The industry is constantly evolving and is often significantly affected by global trends and events, as are other export markets. This means those
in the industry need to remain agile, adaptable and abreast of changes, so they can frontfoot both challenges and opportunities.
As we become a more global economy, witnessing advances in technology that affect our lives every day, there are more and more opportunities to rethink how products and services within international education are delivered, and how the education sector can work more closely with other sectors such as business development, regional promotion, trade and enterprise, community organisations and – most importantly – with each other. The strategy has clear goals around economic, social and cultural outcomes, both for the students and for Northland.
At a recent workshop, we were able to bring together a powerhouse of experience and expertise with a range of key stakeholders, including school principals and recruitment agents to district councils and government agencies. Combining a mix of design-led thinking and traditional workshop techniques, we used the workshop to capitalise on all the knowledge in the room to kickstart the development of the strategy, as well as getting stakeholders excited about where it could take Northland!
International students are recognised as injecting at least $42,000 per student, per annum, into the national economy. This provides our region with direct financial benefits through fees, consumption and holiday spending, as well as indirect benefits such as tourism spending during holidays, attracting friends and family to New Zealand and return visits later in life.
In 2015, student numbers for Northland sat at just over 500, a mere 0.55% of New Zealand’s total international student population of 91,062. The completion of this strategy will give Northland a clear roadmap for the future direction of international education, addressing growth as well as promoting the region’s potential. The strategy will clearly align with Education New Zealand’s global marketing objectives, reflect Northland’s unique challenges and opportunities and outline a structure for the sustainable delivery of the strategy.