9 December 2019 at 9:00 am

From Education Minister Chris Hipkins

The Government’s International Education Strategy promotes a vision of a thriving and globally connected New Zealand through world-class international education.

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It represents a shift from international education as a revenue generating export industry to one that incorporates domestic students, boosts global skills and enriches our country socially and culturally.

We’re making strong progress towards this vision. Education New Zealand’s latest Perceptions survey shows more New Zealanders – nearly 60% – believe international education makes a positive contribution to this country. The survey also reveals an increased appreciation for benefits such as greater cultural understanding.

We’re seeing more international students located around the country, supporting regional economies and contributing to diversity and inclusion in local communities: the regional distribution of international students is now at its highest level in the past five years.

We are also seeing a rise in the numbers of international students enrolling at our universities – up seven percent from 2017, and also in our schools, which are up six percent.

This is evidence of the quality of the educational experience we are offering to the world. The Reform of Vocational Education is another step in the right direction, ensuring this sector is strong, unified and continues to be globally relevant in the fast-changing world of work.

The reform includes bringing together the country’s 16 ITPs under a single national Institute of Skills and Technology. This will strengthen New Zealand’s profile internationally and increase our ability to attract quality students from around the world.

Of course, an excellent educational experience is about more than just what happens in the classroom. It is about students feeling welcome, safe and supported. The International Education Strategy places wellbeing front and centre. We can be proud of the progress that has been made in this area – enhancing the pastoral care of international students and improving the information provided to prospective and current international students.

Let’s continue to work together to grow this vision. As one of the Kiwis surveyed for ENZ’s Perceptions research says: “by bringing a global perspective to our educational facilities, international students increase New Zealanders’ understanding of global cultures and perspectives – and collaborate with them".

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