The economic impact of foreign fee -paying students

Publication Details

The Ministry of Education commissioned Infometrics to calculate the total economic value-added, and estimated employment, from the New Zealand international education sector for the 2004 calendar year. This calculation was partly based on information from the Export Education Levy, and survey data from the New Zealand University Students' Association. The key findings are that the total contribution of the sector to GDP was $2.21 billion in 2004, and a total of up to 40,101 jobs were supported based on this value-added contribution.

Author(s): Infometrics Limited, for the Ministry of Education.

Date Published: February 2006

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In a previous report we estimated the economic contribution of the export education industry (foreign fee-paying students studying in New Zealand educational institutions) to the New Zealand economy in 1999. The effect on Gross Domestic Product was estimated at $545m. An update to the study estimated that by 2001 the effect of the export education industry on GDP had more than doubled to $1250m.

For 2004 we estimate that the contribution of foreign education to GDP has passed the two billion dollar mark, with the industry’s value-added estimated at approximately $2210m, an increase of over 75% on 2001. Just over half of this is accounted for by students studying at public tertiary institutions.  School students and English language students each contribute about a fifth of the total.


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