New Zealand regional pilot launched

17, February, 2015

Hawke's Bay has become the latest region of New Zealand to receive funding for a regional cluster pilot scheme as a part of a drive to achieve international student growth and build relations with study travel agents.

Hawke's Bay on New Zealand's North Island. Credit - Shutterstock

Hastings District Council, Education Hawke’s Bay and Education New Zealand (ENZ) are co-funding the pilot scheme as part of the regional growth strategy that aims to increase the number of international students by 25 per cent in 2017.

The funding has been used to create a role to implement the strategy. Stephanie Kennard, who was recently appointed to the role, said, “The Education Hawke’s Bay initiative will provide schools and institutions alike with the ability to collaborate and create real growth. I am looking forward to working alongside the members and the fantastic institutions they represent.”

The initial phase of the pilot scheme will include a Japanese agent fam tour, market research, translation of marketing materials and the establishment of a revenue monitoring framework. It will also explore the potential for the development of shared services, such as value-added homestay packages and adventure education experiences.

Education New Zealand Development Manager, Mary Camp, said, “The pilot is part of ENZ’s Regional Partnership Programme and will deliver key outcomes from the strategic roadmaps developed by the international education industry in 2014. ENZ is committed to supporting the development and growth of international education in the regions of New Zealand.”

Hawke’s Bay, located in the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, experienced a four per cent increase in international students in the most recent data released by Education New Zealand, covering the first eight months of 2014.

The Hawke’s Bay pilot scheme follows the recent launch of a High Growth Strategy for International Education in Wellington, developed by providers across all educational sectors and aiming to double the number of international students in the region by 2023.

Each of the tertiary institutions involved in the scheme has committed to having at least 15 per cent of their student bodies made up of international students. Under the plans, the institutions will collaborate in student recruitment to ensure a diverse mix of nationalities.

Don Campbell, Chief Executive of Whiteria New Zealand said the collaborative plan would establish Wellington as a study destination. “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.”

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