The Education and Training sector provides education and training for people and associated support services.

Education may be provided in a range of settings, such as educational institutions, the workplace, or the home. Generally, instruction is delivered through direct interaction between teachers/instructors and students, although other means of delivery such as correspondence or the internet may be used.

Education and training services are provided by specialised units such as preschools, schools, technical colleges, training centres and universities. They may be publicly owned and operated, or privately owned and operated.

The tertiary sector serving Christchurch consists of three universities (University of Canterbury, or UC, Lincoln University and the University of Otago, Christchurch); one Institute of Technology and Polytechnic (CPIT); Private Training Establishments (PTEs); Industry Training Organisations (ITOs); and community training programmes. University of Canterbury is recognised for its research and programmes in Engineering and the Sciences, and Lincoln University in land-based research. The University of Otago, Christchurch, specializes in health research and teaching.

The three largest institutions — University of Canterbury, Lincoln and CPIT — bring approximately $200 million of funding in annually for domestic student education; more than $30 million in performance based research funding; and approximately $50 million in international student revenue. The University of Otago, Christchurch, brings in over $11m in performance-based research funding every year.

Sub-Sector: International Education

Traditionally Canterbury was a popular destination for international students in New Zealand. Between 2003 and 2010, around 17 percent of international students in New Zealand chose to study in the Canterbury region, behind only Auckland. This was across schools (primary, intermediate and secondary); tertiary institutions (polytechnics, universities and wananga); and private training establishments (such as English language schools).

Christchurch Quick Facts

  • Contributes approximately $815 million to Christchurch GDP (Infometrics’ Estimate year ended June 2014, $2010)
  • Accounts for around five percent of GDP in Christchurch
  • Around 791 business units are based in Christchurch (2014, Statistics New Zealand)
  • Has around 14,680 employees (2014, Statistics New Zealand)
Education and Training Sector Employment Breakdown, 2014
Source: Statistics New Zealand
Sub-sectorEmployee Count% of total
Preschool Education204014%
School Education732050%
Tertiary Education407028%
Adult, Community and Other Education12408%

Sector Trends

International Education Earthquake Impact

The International Education sub-sector in Canterbury was significantly impacted by the earthquakes, with international student numbers more than halving between 2010 and 2012. Significant drop-offs were seen from the Korean and Japanese markets, in particular. Figures released by Education Counts for 2013 indicate a recovery is occurring in this sector, with a small increase in student numbers.

Industry Alignment and Diversified Revenue Streams

The current funding model of mixed Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) Student Achievement Component funding and controlled fees structure for domestic students is insufficient to fund delivery and depreciation (renewals) for most tertiary sector operators. This structure is encouraging commercial revenue growth such as growth in international students, Research Unit commercial consulting and investment in commercialisation. The draft Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) 2014-16 signals a funding and operational change for tertiary institutions in that they will need to consider how they operate within a broader context, especially in relation to business, industry and international connections. The TES also aligns with the Canterbury earthquake recovery in that one of the indicators of success is whether employers in Canterbury have access to and are able to retain skilled and qualified workers to support the rebuild. The recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes will require strong co-ordination between tertiary institutions and industry to effectively overcome skill shortages. Overall, tertiary institutions and industry will need to work together to ensure that tertiary education outcomes effectively meet labour market demands.

Accessibility and Flexibility

More and more students are working, caring for children or have other major commitments while studying. Attracting students both domestically and internationally is partly influenced
by how studying fits in with their lifestyle. More courses are being offered in part, or in some cases fully, online. Courses (particularly study for degrees) are becoming shorter so people can complete them more quickly.

Education to Workplace Pathways

Central government policy focused on building pathways from high school into tertiary education or work, and tertiary into work, is encouraging stronger alignment and co-operation between high schools, tertiary providers and the business community.

Sector Initiatives

Youth Futures Canterbury

Youth Futures Canterbury is a collection of government agencies, tertiary institutions, Industry Training Organisations (ITOs) and school leaders who have come together to improve educational outcomes for youth in Greater Christchurch. The group aims to stem the flow of young people falling into the NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) trap. This has become even more important following the earthquakes, given the contribution education will make to recovery in Greater Christchurch.

Christchurch Educated

Christchurch Educated is a collaboration of universities, CPIT and Private Training Establishments (PTEs) to grow international student recruitment through sharing resources and joint offshore projects. Currently Christchurch Educated is the distribution vehicle for funding from Education New Zealand (ENZ) to help rebuild the region’s international student numbers.

Christchurch Schools Redevelopment Programme

The Government has committed $1.37 billion to a programme to rebuild or refurbish 115 Christchurch schools over 10 years. Thirteen schools will be built on new sites and 10 rebuilt on existing sites. A total of 34 schools will be fully redeveloped and 58 moderately redeveloped in the programme, which affects 80 percent of Greater Christchurch’s classrooms.


Amplifier is a CDC programme that provides a bespoke service to advance selected high growth-potential businesses. A group of professional service and capital providers provides pro-bono support to the programme. Its purpose is to provide independent advice to businesses to assist them to traverse the business growth issues and challenges they encounter. This may include readiness for obtaining investment capital (both debt and equity). International education is a target group for the Amplifier programme.