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Combined international education agency to boost sector


author:Beehive

Steven Joyce

6 April, 2011

Combined international education agency to boost sector

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says a new Crown Agency to improve the way the government supports and encourages international education will also help minimise the impact of the Christchurch earthquake on the sector.

"International education contributes more than $2 billion to our economy and supports about 32,000 jobs but, to this point, efforts to promote growth have been fragmented.
?Historically, the international education function has been shared between three agencies ? the Ministry of Education, Education New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

?Remedying this and ensuring our efforts are well-coordinated and efficient is even more important in the post-earthquake environment.?

?Tragically, a number of international students died in Christchurch as a result of the earthquake and many more were affected. It?s important for New Zealand that we reassure students, their families and countries that we remain a safe and reputable international education destination and we are very much open for business.

?We have in New Zealand excellent schools, well-respected Universities, institutes of technology and private providers. It?s important for the growth of our economy that we maximise our opportunities.?

Mr Joyce says a single agency, solely focused on international education, will provide a sharper focus, better coordination and better value for money in terms of both marketing and representation abroad.

The agency will take the form of a Crown Agent operating under the Crown Entities Act (2004). It will combine Government-funded promotional, representational and other functions and activities that are currently spread across the Ministry of Education, Education New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

The agency will be up and running by September this year.

Mr Joyce says there is great potential for international education to contribute more than it does already to New Zealand's economic and social growth over the next fifteen years and beyond.
?We are a small country operating in a very large international market. We need to have all our limited resources grouped together and focussed on supporting our educational institutions in their quest to build relationships and increase international student numbers.

"The government is excited by the possibilities stemming from growth in this area - that's why continued and sustainable growth of the sector is an important part of our economic growth strategy."

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