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Beyond economic: How international education delivers broad value for New Zealand


In May 2018 Research New Zealand (RNZ) published a report upon request of Education New Zealand (ENZ) on the broader contribution that international education makes to New Zealand, beyond the economic results ($4.5 billion in 2016). The report refers to community-based and socio-cultural benefits, as well as educational benefits, resulting from the presence of international students in New Zealand’s schools and campuses and in communities in general. In a nutshell, in 2016 almost 132 000 international students were enrolled to study in New Zealand. Of these, half were from China (29%) and India (21%). 

The report builds on four case studies: a school, an engineering business, a New Zealand embassy, and a tourism operation. This research study involved two main streams of work which were completed between May and July 2017: the literature scan, based on the current largest providers of international education (Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada), which reviewed how other countries value contributions made by international students, and case studies of New Zealanders who have had actual, first-hand experience of the benefits and contributions made by international students who have gone to study in New Zealand.

Overall, the scan found strong evidence that the international education industry and the tourism activities of international students and their families, directly and indirectly contribute to economic activity and job creation in their host countries. In particular, it brought benefits to: national and regional economies; tourism; soft-diplomacy and international trade; business, innovation and workforce; community-based, cultural and educational value. 

Full report here