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The Wellington international student experience

By David Perks 21 Aug 2015

The recent Wellington City Council Education Sector breakfast examined the opportunities our city and region have to attract more students from other countries to study in Wellington.  This series of blogs takes up the key themes of the breakfast; we’d love to get your views on these different themes.

It was interesting to hear so strongly from our panellists summing up that the Wellington International Airport runway extension would create a better environment in which to attract students for whom direct flight access is important. We’re interested to hear from you what could happen in the short term too. How do we capitalise on our 65 -70 flights per week to Australia that are linked up to global connections; could domestic travel be packaged in with students studies?

In June of this year we heard from government about how they would reduce their office footprint in Wellington. Does this provide the opportunity to convert existing office blocks into student accommodation that is tailored for students from other cultures and countries and thus provide Wellington with a competitive advantage?  We’re also keen to hear your ideas on how we express the multi-cultural nature of Wellington.

Perhaps as Grant Guilford suggested we’d be better working on options for cheaper public transport for our student community enabling them to live in other areas of the Wellington region and commute to wherever their campus is located.

It is without doubt that personal safety is important to parents who choose for their children to go overseas to study. Unsurprisingly New Zealand ranks highly on the list of safer places to study. But could it be better – this links into the transport question – but should we be identifying ‘student highways’ or other initiatives that get a better standard of lighting and footpath management than other areas to reflect the high pedestrian traffic?

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