Foreign students boost Witt coffers

MICHELE ONG
Last updated 05:00 21/08/2014

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International students flocking to study at Witt are bringing with them increased revenue for the institute.

Financial reports presented at Witt's council meeting yesterday showed that the institute had exceeded its year-to-date expenditure budget by $227,000 due to operating and personnel expenditure.

But the increase in costs was driven by the influx of foreign students, which brought an extra $393,000 above what was budgeted at the end of July.

This brought about an income of $116,000 for Witt.

Marketing executive director Danny Hall said the growth in international students resulted in higher commissions to international agents.

There were also associated additional costs in delivering the programmes such as buying cooking ingredients and chefs' uniforms.

Witt's international enrolments are at 112 equivalent fulltime students (EFTS), which is 55 ahead of the year-end budget of 57 EFTS.

Additional marketing initiatives rolled out last year to promote Witt's culinary programme in India, along with increased promotional activities offshore by its subsidiary, the New Zealand Institute of Highways Technology, were reasons behind the roll increase.

But demand for Witt's hospitality programme from the foreign student market is putting pressure on the institute's kitchen facilities.

Witt has stopped accepting international student enrolments for its chef training programme, for both the September and February 2015 intake, due to the lack of space.

Proposals for a kitchen extension to accommodate growth was raised at yesterday's meeting.

Chief executive Barbara George said the doubled growth in its international student enrolments in one year was a "fantastic achievement" for Witt.

"International students complement our domestic students and gives us flexibility to offer more options for tertiary study in Taranaki," she said.

George, along with the institute's department managers, are planning a trip to India next month to further strengthen Witt's presence.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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