Ambitious plan to increase international student numbers

Launched today is an ambitious plan to significantly lift the numbers of international students in the Wellington region.

The Wellington International Strategy will see Universities, Polytechnics, Private English Language and Training providers and Schools doubling the number of international students studying in the Wellington region by 2023.

For the first time in New Zealand all leading education providers in one region have developed a High Growth Strategy for International education. The motivation is simple and the case for growth is strong. International students bring diversity of cultures and perspectives to education and learning environments which is good for our domestic students who more than ever need a diverse and international perspective to be successful in their future careers. It also brings fees that can be channelled back into education which benefits all students. The social and economic impacts of international students are well known and understood.

Wellington is already a cosmopolitan community and is a very attractive destination for travellers and students. More international students spread throughout the region will add to that.

Each of the tertiary institutions is committed to having at least 15% of their rolls made of up of international students within the next 5 years.

The Vice Chancellors and Chief Executives believe this will provide a very good balance and mix in their student populations. Schools are also committed to growing the number of international students to increase the cultural and educational experience for students.

The High Growth Strategy commits Schools, Universities, Polytechnics and Private Education Providers to work together to recruit international students from a selected range of countries to make sure there is a good mix of cultures. It also commits providers to work together to support students and teachers to ensure they have a very positive learning and living experience in the Wellington Region.

Chief Executive of Whitireia New Zealand Don Campbell noted “most of Whitireia’s international students are in Auckland but with this collaborative plan for Wellington we expect many more will wish to come to Wellington. A critical part of the strategy is the plan to extend the Wellington airport runway as this will reduce a current barrier not only in student preferences but most importantly in how Wellington is perceived.”

Vice Chancellor of Victoria University Grant Guilford said “International education is critical to Wellington’s social, cultural and economic future and it is great to see the commitment of our regions educational providers to work together for the good of the region. Victoria has a great reputation internationally and the further development of this strategy will build on this and the reputations of others in Wellington to really promote Wellington in the international market.”

Vice Chancellor of Massey Steve Maharey said Massey Wellington has a “superb reputation in areas such as emergency management, health, entrepreneurship and, in particular, creative arts. Through areas such as design, fine arts and music we want to help build Wellington’s reputation and ambition to be the “creative capital” attracting students from around the world to this vibrant city.”

Chief Executive of Wellington Institute of Technology Linda Sissons noted “this international strategy will build on our existing marketing strategies and create a much more coherent approach so that international students will see Wellington as an education destination.”