These days, education and business are inextricably tied up together, meaning both gains and compromises are made, with pros and cons hotly debated.
One thing that seems positive from most angles though, is the business of international education. Boosting the individual student, the school, the local community, the wider region and the country as a whole, the programmes operating in New Zealand today undoubtedly open cultural doorways and add value to the local and national economy.
In Wellington alone, international education contributed approximately $193 million to the economy last year, with more than 5,500 international students studying, and around 100 different countries represented.
A study commissioned by Education New Zealand into the economic value of international education to New Zealand during 2012 found that the total economic ‘value-add’ from enrolments of international fee-paying students in our schools was around $361 million, $310 million for secondary schools and $51 million for primary schools. This was a not insignificant 14 percent of the $2.6 billion total value for that year. In the first half of 2014, the number of international students in Wellington increased by a percent, aligning with an upward swing across the country as a whole.
Grow Wellington is the economic development agency working to accelerate growth in the region, with the mission of making us more internationally competitive. Focusing on exports, they are heavily involved with international education programme promotion, terming it “export education”.