International education could bring $30 million a year to Northland within the next decade, according to a new strategy launched in the Bay of Islands on Friday.
The Tai Tokerau Northland International Education Strategy includes specific, sustainable growth targets including boosting international secondary student numbers to 400 and primary and intermediate school enrolments to 200.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Paul Goldsmith said the fast-growing sector was now New Zealand's fourth largest export earner, worth $4.5 billion a year and supporting more than 33,000 jobs.
"There is real potential for international education to bring a range of benefits to Northland. Many international students value the opportunity to experience tikanga Maori and te reo in an authentic setting. Northland delivers a uniquely New Zealand experience," he said.
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"International education supports our young people to develop their skills as 'global citizens', and connects New Zealand communities and businesses to the wider world."
The strategy, which was launched at the Copthorne Hotel in Waitangi, also helped ensure Northland delivered on its promise to international students of a quality education.
Northland Inc chief executive David Wilson said international education wasn't just an export earner for Northland with significant potential, it also exposed young people to different cultures, connections and opportunities.
Currently Northland has 550 international students worth a combined $10.1m a year to the region's economy. The goal is to boost that to 1500 - 900 at NorthTec, 400 at secondary schools and 200 at intermediate/primary schools - by 2027, tripling the sector's earnings to $30m.
Recommendations in the strategy build on long-standing efforts of education providers which have been attracting students to Northland for many years, especially NorthTec.
Go to www.northlandnz.com/news/latest-news to read the strategy "snapshot".