Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce is establishing a new agency to promote international education.
The agency will merge roles currently held by the Ministry of Education, Education New Zealand and NZ Trade and Enterprise, Mr Joyce said.
Mr Joyce said international education contributed more than $2 billion to the economy and supported about 32,000 jobs, but so far, efforts to promote growth had been fragmented.
Mr Joyce says a single agency, solely focused on international education, will provide a sharper focus, better coordination and better value for money in terms of both marketing and representation abroad.
The agency will take the form of a Crown Agent (thus legally separate from the Crown but indirectly accountable to the minister). It will combine Government-funded promotional, representational and other functions and activities that the Ministry of Education, Education New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise all currently undertake.
The agency will be up and running by September this year.
Mr Joyce says there is great potential for international education to contribute more than it does already to New Zealand’s economic and social growth over the next fifteen years and beyond.
“We are a small country operating in a very large international market. We need to have all our limited resources grouped together and focussed on supporting our educational institutions in their quest to build relationships and increase international student numbers.
“The government is excited by the possibilities stemming from growth in this area – that’s why continued and sustainable growth of the sector is an important part of our economic growth strategy.”