India is the largest source country of new international students to New Zealand, and is now New Zealand’s second largest source of skilled migrants, a new report shows.
The Department of Labour’s annual report Migration Trends and Outlook 2010/2011 found that while there was a global slowdown in the number of permanent migrants and temporary workers, international student numbers to New Zealand continue to rise.
Student numbers were up 2% to 74,800 over the last year. Most new students are now coming from India, but China is still contributing the highest number overall, the report also shows.
Skilled migration from the United Kingdom continues to decline but it remains the largest source at 17%. India, increasing from 8% to 13%, has replaced South Africa which is decreasing from 17% to 12%, as the second largest source of skilled migration.
‘Skilled migration from India has shown consistent growth in the last three years and this reflects a trend seen in many OECD countries of international students applying to work or gain residence after completing their studies,’ the report adds.
Meanwhile another report reveals that permanent and long term migration is forecast to move from a cyclical low and return to a net gain to New Zealand during the latter part of 2012 and in early 2013, according to new research.
The report, also from the Department of Labour, called Permanent and Long Term Migration: The Big Picture, looks at the broader context in which migration takes place, including cyclical trends and influences.
‘This Department of Labour research shows that permanent and long term migration to and from New Zealand has followed a cyclical pattern over the last 60 years and current patterns are consistent with the long term trends,’ said general manager of the Labour and Immigration Research Centre Vasantha Krishnan.
‘Since the 1960s there has been a pattern of peak net losses at the end of each decade. Recent trends show we are at a low point in the permanent and long term migration cycle,’ she explained.
The research also shows the proportion of trans Tasman departures relative to the population is lower than in the 1970s. In the year to June 2011, departures to Australia were 44,900 or about 1% of New Zealand’s population, while at the end of the 1970s, the rate was 1.4% of the population.
‘The Australian labour market shows signs of slowing, and as employment prospects in New Zealand improve, departures to Australia are forecast to ease later this year. Arrivals from the rest of the world excluding Australia are also expected to increase over the next year, but at a slower rate than the increase in departures to Australia,’ Krishnan said.
‘The Department of Labour is forecasting an accumulated net migration loss over the short term of almost 4,000, with most of the losses in 2011 and some in early 2012. We forecast a return to a net migration gain of about 6,000 during mid to late 2012 and early 2013,’ she added.