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Chinese influencers help promote Wellington as a student destination


Tapping into the power of Chinese social media platform WeChat, four key opinion leaders have helped launch a campaign to attract Chinese creative and digital students to Wellington.

Popular accounts neversaynever30, GoToNZL, Dxsczw and ParentsDaily are sharing a video highlighting the diverse nature of Wellington, ease of making friends, ability to talk directly to the course lecturer, as well as a vibrant learning environment, to their legions of followers.

Brook Pannell, WREDA’s Talent, Skills and Education Manager, says the aim of the video is to drive awareness of Wellington as an outstanding education destination, and one where students can gain life skills in an inclusive and safe city.

“The video is targeted to students aged 16-25 years-old living across China, looking for study options in the creative and digital sectors. Chinese students make up Wellington’s biggest international student group but according to visas issued the numbers of first time arrivals have recently dipped,” says Pannell.

“Many Chinese don’t know of the high-quality education and lifestyle we offer compared with our international competitors. We’re hoping the video shows them how modern and dynamic Wellington is – we’re more than a beautiful country.”

The video follows a typical day in the life of a Chinese tertiary student in Wellington, beginning his day with a run, completing course work and discussing it with his lecturer, visiting some of Wellington’s sights with friends, attending a networking and lecture event, and rounding his day off with a game of basketball.

In Wellington, each international student contributes an average of $33,179 to the regional economy. This equates to around $200 million to the economy and thousands of jobs for the Wellington region.

In the year ending July 2018, Valid Student Visas (‘first time’ and ‘returning’ visas) were up one per cent, to a total of 1,750 for the year.

“A high proportion of Chinese parents aspire to an overseas education for their children. In Wellington, international students can gain a world-class education, and learn directly from industry experts – as well as understand different cultures, make new friends, and enjoy our vibrant and diverse region,” says Pannell.

WREDA is responsible for delivering the Wellington International Student Growth Programme, a multi-year initiative designed to increase the number of international fee-paying students in the region.