International student numbers rise in NZ

New Zealand’s latest International Education Snapshot Report shows international student enrolments have increased by 13 per cent over the January-August period when compared with 2014.

The report shows that there were 104,418 international students in New Zealand in the first eight months of this year – 11,760 more enrolments when compared with 2014.

Education providers in Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Canterbury welcomed growth of between 15 to18 per cent, while those in Nelson, Taranaki and Northland also experienced double-digit growth in enrolments.

“This strong growth is testament to the efforts of education providers nationwide who continue to deliver excellent education and provide outstanding study experiences to domestic and international students alike,” said Steven Joyce, NZ’s Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister.

“International education plays an important role in ensuring New Zealand’s workforce has the skills and abilities required for a successful globally connected economy. These students and the alumni that have gone before them are vital as we grow internationally connected businesses,” he added.

The growth in international education has contributed to a successful year for overseas trade. In the year to September 2015, New Zealand earned NZ$2.8 billion more from exports than it spent on imports. International education is now New Zealand’s fifth-largest export sector.

“An increase in enrolments brings an additional NZ$91 million in tuition fee revenue for education providers, which has now reached a record NZ$804 million for the January to August period,” Joyce continued. “It’s particularly good to see the growth occurring in regional areas as well as the main centres.  International students add vitality to regional education institutions and additional growth in the retail and service sectors of regional centres.”

An additional NZ$2.76 million of Export Education Levy funding announced last month will be invested in accelerating regional growth in international education, and expanding Education New Zealand’s activities in a more diversified range of markets including Colombia, Viet Nam, the United States and the Philippines.

Minister Joyce stated: “Growth in enrolments needs to be sustainable and diversified, which is why English language requirements for international students were recently strengthened.

“The growth targeted for the international education industry also requires a greater focus on the delivery of our education products and our education services offshore. While it is pleasing to see this increase in international student numbers, it is equally important we tap into the opportunities presented by delivering our expertise offshore.”