New Zealand is a sought after destination for international students, and Taranaki is becoming an increasingly popular choice for students from many Asian countries, Germany, Vanuatu, India and South America.

Students are attracted to the balance of education, lifestyle and cultural experiences that provide an alternative to a big city experience - a truly Kiwi education and lifestyle with a global outlook. Particular to Taranaki are the established pathways into both the energy and agriculture sectors.

The current GDP contribution of international education in Taranaki is approximately $9.2 million per annum across both secondary and tertiary sectors and including private training providers (PTEs). Given the current capacity of education providers within Taranaki for additional international students, and taking into account homestay and hostel availability, the potential for the international education sector in Taranaki is conservatively estimated at $19.6 million per annum.

While international education is a developing in Taranaki, as a nation international education is the fifth largest export industry in New Zealand, with a GDP contribution of $2.4 billion per annum. International education also contributed 13,000 jobs directly and 14,500 jobs indirectly throughout New Zealand. International students also contribute positively to an educated work force with skills in key shortage areas for both Taranaki and the country.

International education isn’t a one-way street for Taranaki. The social and cultural opportunities for both the international student population and the communities in which they live is an important aspect of the industry for our region. Many events and arrangements are in place to support the pastoral care of students and the exchange of cultural experiences.

International students are integrated into classrooms at our secondary schools throughout the region, tertiary provider WITT and industry specific training institutions like PIHMS.

Taranaki organisations and schools are working together to attract, support and grow international student numbers and this joint approach, along with the unique Taranaki lifestyle sets the scene for a successful, growing international education sector for the region.