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New Zealand: Major funding allocated for new Crown Agency

As reported earlier this spring (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, April 2011), New Zealand is due to launch a new Crown Agency focused on international education in September of this year. This entity will pull together functions that were previously spread across three different bodies – the Ministry of Education, Education New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise – with heavy emphasis to be given to external promotion and marketing of New Zealand as a higher education destination of choice. To tackle this work, New Zealand appears ready to invest. Indeed, the country’s Tertiary Education Minister, Steven Joyce, announced recently that the new agency will benefit from a total operating budget over the next four years of NZD 84 million (EUR 49 million). Previously, the budget for international education spread across the three responsible bodies stood at just NZD 44 million (EUR 25.8 million).

The nearly 91% increase in budget comes with expectations, to be sure. With a population of just 4.3 million, New Zealand derives substantial financial benefits from international education, including employment for some 32 000 people working in the sector, and NZD 100 million (EUR 60 million) in the sale of “education expertise” abroad. Overall, international education is estimated to contribute some NZD 2.3 billion (EUR 1.4 billion) to the economy. Currently still in ‘recovery mode’ after the Christchurch earthquake of February 2011, the New Zealand government hopes to encourage growth in the sector over the next 15 years. To this end, the new funding is to be used for strategic offshore promotion as well as the development of “bilateral education relationships with key trading and education partner countries and regions”. One could say New Zealand is clearly ‘open for business’.

New Zealand Government