Two regions of New Zealand have been named the recipients of federal funding in excess of NZ$300,000 in order to boost their international education strategies and expand their global reach.

Earlier this week, Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce declared a NZ$162,000 investment to develop Taranaki’s international education scheme over the next two years, and build upon Education New Zealand’s (ENZ) newly launched Regional Partnership Programme.

The region hopes the newly implemented strategy will increase the value of its international education sector to NZ$19m by 2025.

“This is a great example of the economic development agency, local providers and ENZ working together,” said Joyce. “This collaborative approach allows the group to share resources and make strategic and targeted investments together for greater impact.”

Taranaki is the latest region to benefit from government funding for international education, at both the local and national level. The new strategy will build upon existing collaboration between education providers in Taranaki and Venture Taranaki, the region’s official tourism brand.

“Regional New Zealand has so much to offer international students, and sharing the benefits of this important sector across the country is a focus for ENZ,” adds Joyce.

“Taranaki’s plans set a clear direction for growing the value of international education in the region to $19million by 2025, and the government is pleased to support their ambitious goals.”

The region of Manawatu, located just north of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital and second most populous city, is also due to receive NZ$150,000 worth of funding for education. It is hoped that the investment will entice a greater number of overseas students to study in Manawatu.

The region will receive a fund of $50,000 for this financial year, with the remaining $100,000 to be implemented over the following 18 months.

According to official ENZ figures, the Manawatu-Wanganui region hosted 3,186 international students in 2014, accounting for three percent of the total 110,198 students studying in New Zealand that year.

“ENZ is pleased to be able to partner with Manawatu’s international education providers and Vision Manawatu in implementing the region’s ambitious growth strategy,” Grant MacPherson, chief executive of Education New Zealand, told the Manawatu Standard.

“Manawatu has much to offer international students – not only a range of high-quality education options, but also a great lifestyle,” he adds.

The regional funding will be put towards increased participation in global education fairs and exhibitions, and will greatly contribute to New Zealand’s international marketing strategies. The investment is set to grow the country’s reputation as a desirable study destination, increasing participation from international students around the globe and significantly improving the country’s regional economies.

New Zealand’s international education sector currently contributes NZ$2.85billion to the country’s economy each year, supporting 30,000 jobs around the country. Regional investments form part of the Government’s plan to increase the value of New Zealand’s international education sector to NZ$5billion by 2025.

Image via Librestock.

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