New Zealand plans to woo more foreign students

WELLINGTON (AFP) - New Zealand on Thursday announced a multi-million-dollar marketing push to attract more foreign students - especially from Asia - to its universities.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said the government had committed NZ$40 million (S$41 million) in its new budget to promoting New Zealand in key markets such as China, India, Southeast Asia and South America.

New Zealand has eight universities. Joyce said almost 100,000 overseas students were enrolled in the institutions last year, supporting about 32,000 jobs and contributing NZ$2.0 billion to the economy.

He said the government's goal was to more than double the international education sector by 2025.

"Our high-quality education sector, together with the lifestyle experience that New Zealand provides for international students, is a combination few other countries can match," he said.

Joyce added that international students offered more than financial value to New Zealand, crediting them with helping the country forge strong "people-to-people links" in the Asia-Pacific region.