Timaru can look forward to an increased number of international students. Ara Institute of Canterbury has been awarded $24,000 to develop the Japanese education market by Education New Zealand’s International Education Growth Fund (IEGF).
“We are focused primarily on Timaru’s sister city of Eniwa in Hokkaido,” International Director Beth Knowles says.
“Timaru has a strong relationship with Eniwa and we are looking to build on and extend this relationship and especially develop the relationship with the local university, Hokkaido Bunkyo University. A group of their students will study English Language at our Timaru campus later this year.”
International student numbers are growing
Ara has focused on extending international cooperation and achieved increases in the number of international students studying at the institute each year for the past three years, with numbers in 2015 exceeding pre-earthquake levels. The new funding will enable the institute to bring these resources to bear in promoting Timaru as an educational destination.
“I think there are a lot of similarities between Eniwa and Timaru both in terms of their proximity to nature and the community focus of the two cities.”
International students would be able to take advantage of the excellent language teaching programmes available while being able to benefit from Timaru’s strategic position as a gateway into some of the South Island’s most remarkable scenery.
New Zealand’s famous southern scenery
“Timaru sits on the back door of some of New Zealand’s most rugged and attractive scenery. International students studying in Timaru will be able to have a truly genuine experience,” Knowles says. “Often when you see images of New Zealand, they are images of the South Island, and Timaru is ideally suited for exploring the best the South Island has to offer. It really is the epitome of New Zealand’s natural environment.”
With its close proximity to Aoraki/Mt. Cook National Park, Queenstown and Lake Tekapo, studying in Timaru gives students the perfect opportunity for seeing some of New Zealand’s best scenery with options as diverse as horse-riding, kayaking and stargazing, skiing, bungee jumping, jet boating and tramping. Those who want to travel further afield can visit such places as Te Anau, Milford Sounds, and the Catlins.
Community welcomes students
Furthermore, Ara is keen to promote the city due to the positive support Timaru people have provided to international students in the past.
“The people of Timaru have been overwhelmingly supportive of international students and we have received feedback about how well the students are treated and looked after,” Knowles says.
Both students and the community will benefit from the opportunities of having international students in Timaru. Students will have better access to the variety and beauty of the great outdoors, benefitting tourism in both the short and long term.
“Students can participate in tourist activities and some of them will stay on to work in the same fields. Many of them are multilingual and are already graduates in a range of areas, bringing skills which New Zealand needs. This will help support business and industry throughout the Canterbury region,” Knowles says.
Safety - an important consideration
“Many students are attracted to New Zealand because of our reputation as a tourist destination with great outdoor opportunities, but for many, especially their parents, personal safety is a real factor. New Zealand is renowned as a politically stable and safe country to visit and this is one of the top reasons students choose to study here.”
The funding is part of over $444,000 that has been allocated as co-funding to 14 new growth initiatives in the international education industry through the IEGF administered by Education New Zealand.
Ara is also part of a Study Applied Sciences NZ alliance that received IEGF funding grants to further develop successful partnerships in the German market and to scope and develop partnerships with institutions in Norway.
Read more about ENZ funding http://enz.govt.nz/news-and-research/ed-news/international-education-gets-444000-boost-in-co-funding/