There were almost 900 additional international student enrolments in Bay of Plenty last year, a 22 per cent increase for the region, according to the latest International Education Snapshot Report released today.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce said the report showed a significant increase in the number of international students choosing to study across New Zealand.
"Total income from tuition fees rose to more than $1 billion nationwide. This is a record for the international education sector in New Zealand and is a tribute to the combined efforts of everyone involved."
Bay of Plenty's total international student enrolments reached 4,993. This represented 4 per cent of enrolments nationwide.
Bay of Plenty's growth was led by the Private Training Establishment (PTE) sector which had the third largest growth of all New Zealand regions, 31 per cent, or 558 students. That was a significant proportion of the overall increase of 891 international students in the Bay of Plenty last year.
International enrolments in Bay of Plenty's Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and PTEs, (including English Language Schools), account for 80 per cent of all enrolments.
Education New Zealand has been working in partnership with both Education Tauranga and Education Rotorua to increase student numbers. Initiatives have included events to enhance the student experience, offshore marketing, the mentoring of new schools, and developing links with local businesses.
"Not only do these students boost our regional economies, they increase our cultural awareness and become lifelong ambassadors for New Zealand. It's great to see Bay of Plenty playing such an important role in increasing one of our fastest growing export markets."
International education is New Zealand's fifth largest export industry and supports more than 30,000 jobs. Figures released by Statistics New Zealand shows the industry is worth $3.1 billion.
Education New Zealand, the lead government agency for the promotion of international education, is working to grow the economic value to $5 billion dollars by 2025.
The International Education Snapshot: 2015 full year report is available