Agents integral to New Zealand plans

July 04, 2013

New Zealand is looking to strengthen relationships with agents in a number of key countries as part of Education New Zealand’s plans to promote the country as a study destination and achieve significant growth in education exports.

In its Statement of Intent 2013-2016, Education New Zealand (ENZ) outlined its operating intentions for the coming years and highlighted the key role that agents play.

“In a number of markets, potential students and their families often use education agents to assist them in investigating whether to study overseas. Education agents act as a key influence on the decision-making process. We will strengthen our relationships with agents to increase their preference for, and commitment to, New Zealand. We will focus on agents located in China, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries, and those agents who are members of the New Zealand Specialist Agent Programme [NZSA],” said the report.

The statement also outlined proposed activities to promote education exports in its three-tiered prioritisation market strategy.

Colombia, Germany, Japan and the US are identified as Tier 3 markets (with historical or emerging opportunities in at least one sector), and will receive agent familiarisation programmes, along with other limited marketing and an in-market ENZ presence.

Tier 2 markets – those with historical or emerging opportunities across sub-sectors, namely Brazil, Chile, Malaysia, the Middle East, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam – will additionally be targeted with agent and alumni activity, digital marketing, ministerial missions and other PR activities.

With significant government and/or industry interest, China, India and Indonesia are positioned as the Tier 1 markets and will also benefit from a wider media mix of activities, including the soon-to-be-aired TV documentary in China and awareness-building in India related to the 2015 Cricket World Cup, being held in Australia and New Zealand.

ENZ will also engage agents in other emerging markets as it assesses potential. Changes to the NZSA scheme have already been announced.

In terms of specific short-term targets, ENZ hopes to achieve a one per cent growth in international student numbers in 2013, followed by four per cent in 2014. In the Canterbury region, ENZ targets eight per cent growth in 2013. Enrolments in the region declined from pre-earthquake levels of 15,201 in 2010 to 6,545 in 2012.

ENZ Board Chair, Charles Finny, said having developed itself since being established in 2011, ENZ was about to expand its activities. “This will involve new and more sophisticated market prioritisation, a new suite of support services for the industry, new ways of communicating with the market and a new brand.”

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