Education Summit a real opportunity
Wellington's Education Summit is a real opportunity to define a firm direction for one of the region's major assets, says Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive John Milford.
"The Chamber called for action and leadership to marshal our resources, in particular attracting and retaining international students, and the City Council has moved on it and should be applauded for that.
"They have pulled together the best of our education providers and our economic development agency, so this could be a defining day.
"What we must now ensure is that this opportunity is not squandered.
"Latest figures show our growth in this market was up just 2 per cent in the past year compared with 13 per cent nationally. That's not good enough for a region with probably the best and most diverse education offering in New Zealand.
"Our universities, polytechnics, private specialist schools and secondary schools all offer subjects that international students want, but we're really struggling to keep pace, and that's the real frustration."
"There must be a serious commitment by the city, education institutions, business and other stakeholders if we are to make the most of what we have.
"Success in this area will mean a genuine and long-lasting boost to the city's and the region's economic growth.
"We need to come out of this summit with tangible outcomes, and hopefully a concrete plan on how we can develop the international student sector."