The report, Development and Implementation of a new Valuation Methodology for New Zealand’s Education Services Exports, was commissioned by Education New Zealand and produced by Covec Limited in partnership with Infometrics.

The report also developed a new methodology showing that the added value or broader contribution to the economy of education services delivered overseas to the New Zealand economy was $242 million. It does not include the economic value of international students studying in New Zealand.

International education (both onshore and offshore delivery) is New Zealand’s fifth largest export industry. Statistics New Zealand reported onshore education delivery to be worth an estimated $3.1 billion annually as at March 2016, which, combined with education services exports, gives a total estimated value of $3.3 billion. This compares with $3.6 billion for wood exports, our fourth-largest export earner.

The report attributed the increase in value to
20 per cent revenue growth, and to the inclusion of a wider sample of firms and activities (including some outside the education industry) compared with the 2012 survey.

New Zealand’s education services exports are made up of a diverse range of products and services including consultancy, publishing, educational technology, and the provision of teaching services, qualifications, training and assessment to offshore customers and students. Offshore delivery can be institution or workplace-based and delivered physically or by distance and online delivery.

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce welcomes the report.

“This report provides us with a more reliable measure of the offshore education services sector, and the value it represents to the New Zealand economy,” he says.

The Government aims to increase the value of international education to $5 billion by 2025 and, as part of that, to increase education services exports to $500 million.

“There is a huge growth opportunity offshore for New Zealand education providers,” says Joyce. “It is not easy to break through internationally, but a number of highly innovative companies are showing the way.”

The New Zealand Productivity Commission’s issues paper on new models of tertiary education states that offshore course delivery is presently a small part of New Zealand’s educational exports. But concerns about the future demand for onshore international education has caused providers to focus increasingly on the potential expansion of offshore delivery. The offshore delivery of education can be by distance education (including MOOCs), the establishment of a commercial presence in another country, and through
New Zealand staff delivering the education service in the foreign country.

In recent years trade agreements have expanded the access of New Zealand institutions to overseas education markets. Data on programmes offered by New Zealand institutions offshore are sketchy, and there appears to be considerable ‘churn’ in ventures.

The Ministry of Education reported that in 2014 six out of eight universities were “involved in offshore delivery”, which included bilateral credit recognition. The number of offshore enrolments was only 1,222 students, though universities reported plans to expand offshore delivery.

There were increased offshore enrolments in the polytechnic sector, and a small yet growing number of offshore enrolments in private training establishments. There are around 3,000 offshore enrolments in total across all tertiary institutions.

Source: Education Review

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