Northland ‘firmly back on international radar’ following education fairs in Asia
Interest is rolling in from prospective students in Japan, Thailand and Vietnam considering Northland as a study destination, following an intensive education road show led by Study Northland last month.
Study Northland Project Manager at Northland Inc, Jo Lees, says nearly 70 meetings with high schools, education agents, students and parents have generated ‘huge interest’ in Northland’s high schools and tertiary offering.
“This was Study Northland’s first international education fair to promote our region offshore since the pandemic, and it has been a huge success, with our providers firmly back on the radar for these international markets,” says Lees.
“After 12 meetings in Japan, 20 in Thailand and 34 in Vietnam, plus numerous networking events and student fairs, we’re fielding strong interest in sending international students to our secondary schools and NorthTec | Te Pūkenga.
“Attending the fairs as a region meant that we could easily highlight what is special about Northland as a destination as well as promoting our schools in both Whangārei and Kerikeri. Amelia Morrison, International Director at Whangārei Girls’ High School also attended the fairs in Vietnam and Thailand, under the regional banner.
“While most students in Thailand and Vietnam are focussed on understanding their university options across New Zealand more broadly, they see strong appeal in Northland’s high schools as a pathway to higher education.”
Lees says while Japan and Thailand are more established markets, Vietnam is ‘exciting and new’ for Northland, and the trip included visits in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, with two agent fairs, two student fairs, networking dinners and the chance to meet 40 parents and students.
“The short-term ‘taster’ visit is a popular option for Vietnamese and Thai families interested in sending their children to New Zealand, with most subsequently choose to return for the remainder of their schooling, after experiencing school and life in a new country.”
Although some long-term students and groups from the three markets have already enrolled for 2023, Lees expects wider demand to surge later in 2023 as families begin the visa application process for 2024 school terms and university semesters. Study Northland will also be hosting a number of overseas school staff and education agents in early 2023.
“International student numbers are looking like they will return to pre-covid levels by February 2023 at most Northland high schools, in part due to a large contingent of enrolments from German students. It is wonderful to see international departments busy and flourishing with students from around the globe once again part of our school and local communities.
“Adding even further value to our in-market engagements are the connections we’re building between Asian schools showing keen interest in hosting Northland students who want to experience another culture and grow their global citizenship.”
Notes to Editors
· Before COVID-19, international education was New Zealand’s fifth largest export industry, contributing around $5 billion annually to the national economy.
· In August 2022, Northland welcomed 70 students as part of an approved cohort of students eligible for study visas as per the Government’s immigration and enrolment settings.
· In 2019 (prior to border closures), Northland had 900 international students – 25 per cent in schools and 75 per cent in tertiary education.
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