Understand your market, communicate more effectively.


Understand your market, communicate more effectively.

Report from Latin America (March 2015)

General comments:

The Education New Zealand Fairs in Latin America afforded an opportunity to include a quick visit to Brazil, Colombia and Chile where we collectively worked to promote New Zealand.

Brazil, Colombia and Chile are tier two markets (Education New Zealand), which means that activities include agent and alumni engagement, brand health research, events, in-market presence, limited brand marketing and communications, ministerial missions, on-going market evaluation and public relations.

In 2014 there was a 14% increase for international student enrolments. Colombia was the country with the highest increase, followed by Uruguay and Mexico. The decrease of some high-school numbers was due to the discontinuing of scholarship programs. Choose New Zealand Education Alliance is connecting with a scholarship program which will look to increase high-school numbers in the future. The importance of high-school scholarships is noted as providing a positive experience enabling seeds to be planted for continued study and/or return to New Zealand.


Education New Zealand provided an informative market brief which is summarised below:

  • Brazil is the largest country in Latin America: 205 million
  • 7th largest economy in the world
  • In 2003 there were 34,00 Brazilians studying overseas in 2014: 230,000 (excludes scholarships)
  • 18 – 30yrs = 73%  under 17yrs = 20%
  • Secondary and PTE’s receive the most students. For percentages per sector and specifics please see here.
  • Sao Paulo: 11 million, 1st market for international education, highest number of locally owned agents, 10th richest city in the world
  • Belo Horizonte: 2.3 million, 2nd largest market for education in Brazil
  • Predict a 60% increase of Brazilian students over the next decade
  • Students up until now have not chosen New Zealand because of:
    1. Distance
    2. Cost of air ticket
    3. Low availability of flights
    4. Lack of information about New Zealand

We spoke to 19 agents and, as in each country, promising relationships were established.


Education New Zealand provided a market brief which is summarised below:

  • 47.2 million – Bogota: 8.6 million, Medellin: 2.4million
  • PTE’s and Universities receive the highest numbers. For percentages per sector and specifics please see here.
  • 75% in Auckland, 12% in Canterbury

Colombia values consistency with accommodation and the importance of this, especially when sending high-school groups, suggestions were made of more boarding options or similar.

There were frequent tertiary enquiries for Environmental Studies and Psychology.

We spoke to a total of 15 agents and had a huge interest in the student fair with attending numbers at 3261.


Education New Zealand provided a market brief which is summarised below:

  • Population 17.4 million – Santiago: 6.6million
  • Need to develop tailored programs
  • PTE’s receive the highest enrolments followed by Schools. For percentages per sector and specifics please see here.
  • 66% in Auckland

As in Colombia, there were frequent enquiries for Environmental Studies and Psychology.

In Santiago we spoke to 5 agents, the Consul for Argentina and had another very busy student fair with numbers to be confirmed but estimated to be similar to Bogota.

Looking to the future and the exciting potential it contains Education New Zealand mentioned possibilities of establishing relations with Mexico and Argentina (with the right programs) and provided a market brief for other Latin American countries revised below:

ARGENTINA has a population of 45 million. There is a lot of potential for New Zealand institutions if together we manage to increase the awareness of New Zealand, our educational opportunities and tailor programs to niche opportunities such as the Film Industry, Agriculture and Rugby.

URUGUAY has a population of 3.4 million and was described as “up and coming”. We need to educate about New Zealand as a study destination.

PARAGUAY has a population of 6.8 million and is strong and rich yet to become “known” as it has been isolated (compared to Taiwan/China).

Factors for our future strategy:

  1. Reiterated advice from all agents was that of more time + individual/follow-up visits being beneficial. Latin America and our future outlook needs to consist of commitment with a long-term collaborative strategy.
  2. Latin America is a very price sensitive market. Pathway opportunities, future possibilities and work rights are important.
  3. The necessity of social media is vital and we are aware of the need to use networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter etc.
  4. AIR NZ will begin direct flights at the end of 2015 to Buenos Aires which will greatly affect future students.


Emily-Rose Reid

1 April 2015

Some institutions we work with