Manawatu-Whanganui region bucks NZ international student trend

International student numbers in New Zealand have fallen over the past year, but the Manawatu-Whanganui region is bucking the national trend.

Recent official figures from the Ministry of Education show that international student numbers in New Zealand fell by 7 per cent last year. The decrease is mainly attributed to a decline in enrolments in the unfunded Private Training Establishments (PTE) sector, which was down 30 per cent in 2017.

However, the figures show strong growth in international student numbers for the North Island’s Manawatu-Whanganui region.

Student enrolments in the region were up by 5 per cent or 148 students, in the year to August 2017, bringing the total number of international students in Manawatu-Whanganui to just under 3,000 in that period.

“This increase really supports the work we are leading,” says Central Economic Development Agency’s (CEDA) International Education Development Manager Judy Bennett-Smith. “We are making real progress in communicating the benefits of studying and living in the region and these numbers are evidence of this.”

The international students are enrolling mainly in university and secondary schools.

Recent New Zealand Immigration figures further reinforce this trend, too. The number of Valid Student Visas issued for international students in the Manawatu-Whanganui region increased 4 per cent to 310 in the 12 months to February 2018. The number of Chinese students with a valid visa for February was up 5 per cent to 640 and Japanese students up a whopping 26 per cent to 282.

Article published 3rd May 2018