New Zealand sees welcome rise in international student numbers

by Ray Clancy on July 1, 2014

International student numbers in New Zealand look set to grow again following the worst effects of the global financial crisis and the Christchurch earthquakes, according to ministers.

The newly-released International Education Snapshot 2013 full year report provides a window into the trends in New Zealand’s international education industry for the 2013 academic year.

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Numbers for late 2013 and early 2014 show a promising rise in international students

‘The second half of 2013 and early indications from 2014 showed good signs of a lift in international student numbers, particularly at higher levels. In addition, full year revenue from international students’ fees in 2013 was up by $9.5 million on 2012 to $755 million,’ said Education Minister Steven Joyce.

‘Last year, New Zealand providers taught more international postgraduate students, with numbers up 11% on 2012, and more international students studied at New Zealand’s secondary schools and universities, which experienced growth of 2% and 4% respectively,’ he added.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse pointed out that the report indicates a strong end to 2013 that has left New Zealand well placed for growth in international student numbers in 2014.

‘The number of international students enrolling with New Zealand providers from the period May to December 2013 increased by 4% on the same period in 2012. Student visa data for early 2014 indicates these numbers are continuing to grow,’ he said.

He also said that total approved student visas, which are available before enrolment data, were up 22% in the January to March 2014 period on 2013 numbers, bringing total student visas back up to 2010 levels.

The ministers also released a progress update on the government’s actions in achieving the goals of the Leadership Statement for International Education, which was launched three years ago.

‘The report outlines a number of significant policy changes that have improved the environment for international education and improved the safeguards for our international reputation,’ Joyce said.

‘New Zealand’s international education industry is our fifth largest export industry. In 2013, an independent Info-metrics report valued the industry at $2.6 billion annually. The industry also supports 28,000 jobs around New Zealand,’ he explained.

‘Global connections are essential to New Zealand’s continued prosperity. Through international education we build our people-to-people links with the world, increase cultural understanding and receive significant economic benefit while these students study, live and travel in New Zealand,’ he added.

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