Plans for melting pot campus

New deal: FutureCOL's Isaac Phua, left, and Language Schools New Zealand's Guy Hughes

A North Island college plans to build a cooking school and accommodation for 80 international students in Queenstown.

Hastings-based The College of Future Learning, known as FutureCOL, is set to bring its business management, cookery, and computing courses south.

The multi-million dollar international campus project could pump more than $3.5 million per year into the Queenstown economy.

FutureCOL boss Bharat Guha says it hopes to build by 2018.

The plan is to attract international students through a partnership with Queenstown-based Language Schools New Zealand, signed last month.

“Queenstown’s such a lovely environment and we see the potential for it to become an education hub,” Guha says.

He wouldn’t say where it might build. In Hastings the college has an equal mix of domestic and international students.

Its Queenstown focus will be international.

FutureCOL director Isaac Phua signed an agreement with LSNZ director Guy Hughes last month.

Guha says: “We are working with Guy Hughes on a long-term basis so that we can attract students from China, Vietnam, Korea and elsewhere. Guy and his team will train them in English to meet the minimum INZ [Immigration New Zealand] requirement.

“Then they will staircase on to our programmes.”

FutureCOL and LSNZ will share premises once NZ Qualifications Authority approves the move south.

But the category one, government-approved tertiary institutions will be kept separate.

FutureCOL has been operating in Hastings, Hawkes Bay, for 20 years, offering courses up to the post-graduate diploma level.

Hughes says: “From our point of view, rather than me going overseas and just marketing a language school, ‘m marketing a language school into diploma and post-graduate courses.

“That’s a lot more meat in the sandwich – it’s a real bonus for us.”

Level seven students and graduates can work under certain conditions.

Queenstown had about 1200 international students across 40 nationalities in 12 months from June to July, equalling 650 full-timers.

Each pumps about $44,500 into the economy a year.

Study Queenstown and Destination Queenstown hope to boost the resort’s international student numbers to 5000 by 2025.