Dunedin's education sector is working on an ambitious plan to
boost the city's economy by more than $160 million a year by
attracting more international students.
The plan comes as the Government places increasing pressure
on tertiary institutions to raise international student
numbers, with an aim to double the economic value of New
Zealand's international education sector to $5 billion by
Despite falling numbers, international students at the
University of Otago spent almost $45 million on tuition fees
The new plan, which forms part of Dunedin's economic
development strategy, aims to double the value international
education brings to the city's economy to $330 million a year
The figure was included in a briefing updating progress on
the plan - called ''project education uplift'' - by the
city's newly appointed export education co-ordinator, Sarah
In the briefing, Ms Gauthier outlined how the city could sell
itself as a ''premier study destination'' for international
This involved the city's tertiary and secondary institutions,
as well as private businesses, working together on the
''Study Dunedin'' brand.
The project would support sending shared delegations to
China, Japan and South America and encourage students to stay
in the city longer and gain work experience at local
The need to expand the city's economy through international
education was obvious.
''As an education-focused city, with exceptional tertiary
institutions, secondary schools, specialised providers and
education technology companies, it's easy for us to
appreciate Dunedin's strength as a study destination and
source of educational expertise,'' she said in the briefing.
The project's advisory board includes Otago University
international pro-vice chancellor Prof Helen Nicholson, Otago
Polytechnic chief executive Phil Ker and communications
director Mike Waddell, Otago Girls' High School principal
Linda Miller and ADInstruments chief executive Michael
Mr Waddell said the project was partly about ''efficient use
of scarce resources''.
''The key challenge here is to forget about being
competitive. There is enough business in the world for
everybody in Dunedin.''
Boosting student numbers could also expand the city's economy
by increasing links with overseas businesses.
The strategy had been supported through $50,000 from
Education New Zealand, a Government agency which promotes the
country to international students, and $45,000 from the
council's Grow Dunedin partnership.
• On average, each contributed $42,000 a year to
• Contribute more than $165m to Otago's economy,
which is 6% of the region's GDP.
• University of Otago international students
spent almost $45m on tuition fees alone last year.