Government money’s behind a fresh push to bring more foreign students to Queenstown.
Education body Study Queenstown has won $85,000 over three years from Education New Zealand.
The money will be used to employ a business development manager to promote the resort as a study destination.
Chairman Charlie Phillips says it’s aiming to lift the number of tertiary students in the resort from an
estimated 600 to 2000 by 2020.
Study Queenstown is a collective of local education providers including Queenstown Resort College,
Southern Institute of Technology, University of Otago, language schools and Wakatipu High School.
Phillips, who’s also QRC’s chief executive, says till now the organisation’s operated without any funding.
Its manager will share an office with tourism promotion body Destination Queenstown, which is shifting today into larger premises.
The manager’s position will be advertised within a month, and will hopefully be filled by September.
Phillips says the partnership with DQ is the perfect fit.
For the same reason tourism is successful in Queenstown, education will be successful, he says.
Education NZ acting chief executive John Goulter says: “Education NZ is pleased to able to partner with
DQ and Study Queenstown in supporting a development role to implement the region’s ambitious growth strategy.
“International education offers great potential as a complementary strand to Queenstown’s strong tourism-based economy.”
Phillips says Study Queenstown also aims to recruit students who, through part-time work or internships, can plug gaps in the resort’s workforce.
“If you take China, for example, there’s many businesses screaming out for Mandarin speakers and Chinese who can work in their businesses.”
DQ boss Graham Budd says his office will help Study Queenstown with marketing material.
He believes that promoting the resort as a study destination fits well with the local council’s economic development strategy, which aims to diversify Queenstown’s economy.
“We’re just starting out in terms of really investing in marketing Queenstown as a study destination, so I
think the future’s really exciting.
“That could include everything from one-week or two-week-long executive education programmes, which are really high-value, and there is a bit of that happening now, through to one- or two-year diplomas and ultimately possibly degree courses being completed here, and postgrad education.”
Phillips says Queenstown already has the infrastructure to host more students.