12 March 2014 at 9:00 am

Growth in the outdoors

New Zealand’s superlative outdoor experiences are helping attract a new group of international students thanks to the cooperatve marketing efforts of 23 secondary schools.

The Outdoor Education New Zealand (ODENZ) cluster has been working since 2002 to develop this niche, and enrolments are rising from northern Europe. 

ODENZ chief executive Ian Reedy says the participating schools from across the country are united by two things: passion for the outdoors, and awareness that joint marketing efforts are the way to go. 

ODENZ is growing the international outdoor education business through a concerted multi-year campaign, with support funding from Education New Zealand. The aim is to end up a self-sustaining organisation with a regular ‘in-market’ presence in northern Europe.

In 2012 there were 184 international students recruited to outdoor ed programmes at participating schools. Figures for Term 1 2014 show an encouraging trend, with 20 percent growth against the same time in 2013. This year they come from Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg.

The aims for 2014 and 2015 are to increase the number of schools in the cluster, and to increase the numbers of students on the ground – or the water, or high on the rockface…

ODENZ is one of several clusters supported by Education New Zealand. Others include independent schools, faith schools and regional groupings. Email us for more information about our support for clusters.

For information on the outdoor cluster, email info@outdoorednz.co.nz or see www.outdooreducation.co.nz.

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