Anna is a reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Foreign student numbers on the rise

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Greenpark School international student Yubin Lee, with principal Graeme Lind. Photo / John Borren
Greenpark School international student Yubin Lee, with principal Graeme Lind. Photo / John Borren

International student numbers have jumped 26 per cent in the first four months of this year.

A report by Education Tauranga shows that from January to April 2016 there was an overall increase of 26 per cent, or 299 students, in international student enrolments compared with the same period in 2015.

The report estimated that Education Tauranga schools' international students injected $39.8 million into the economy, an increase in the last year of $8.2 million.

Greenpark school principal Graeme Lind said there were a number of factors contributing to the increase.

"We have good and proactive agents, most coming from Korea, who assist schools with recruiting students," he said.

He thought another factor was the policy of one international nationality per class, which meant students were completely immersed in English language and had good opportunities to form friendships with New Zealand students.

"We are also a good study destination ... students can come and start in a primary school and progress through up to tertiary," Mr Lind said.

"We embrace other ethnicities and races in New Zealand, and Tauranga is a very friendly city to our international visitors."

Yubin Lee, 8, who came to New Zealand three years ago from Korea, said she enjoyed studying in Tauranga.

"I like being here to make new friends and to learn things about New Zealand," she said,

Yubin was returning to Korea in December but said she had had a fun experience.

Education Tauranga's regional manager Anne Young said the key reason for the increase in international student numbers was due to the organisation's increased profile and the delivery of high-quality education.

"The students who are coming here are having a good experience and achieving the outcomes that they set out to achieve," Mrs Young said.

"Education Tauranga and its member institutions have worked hard to develop relationships with key agents in our key markets and really showcase what we have to offer in the region," she said.

Director of Tauranga Korean Times Hyun Taek Yang said students and their parents were attracted to the relaxed lifestyle .

"Tauranga people are different to those in big cities like Auckland, they really like to help our Korean families, and the climate, the nature. Tauranga is getting more popular in Korea."

He said the one international student per classroom policy helped students learn English quickly.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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