New Zealand Sees a 62% Drop In Number of International Students

New Zealand flag

The number of international students pursuing higher studies at New Zealand’s universities has dropped by two-thirds, according to data by Immigration New Zealand, the government’s official immigration website.

Figures reveal that there are 19,191 international students in New Zealand at the moment, reports.

According to Radio New Zealand (RNZ), the current number of international students has decreased from 51,580 in April last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that led to border closures.

Moreover, data indicate that the total number of individuals with valid study visas does not include international students pursuing a Ph.D. degree and other international students who pay the same fees as domestic students in the country.

Usually, in a normal academic year, there would be 115,000 international students in New Zealand over a year, while the country would welcome around 86,000 international students at any time.

According to data, private education institutions have been the most affected in terms of welcoming international students, with only 3,181 students in the country at the moment, marking a drop of 72 percent.

RNZ further reports that there were 2,892 full-fee international students involved in Polytechnics, a decrease of 69 percent since April 2020. On the other hand, 8,914 students studied at universities in the country, half as many full-fee students compared to before the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a decrease was also noted at schools, which welcomed 4,197 international students. Differently, in April last year, there were 10,500 international students at schools.

Figures have also shown that some 1,828 students on valid study visas remain outside New Zealand, also a drop from a total of 9,272 in April last year, with more than 500 students with visas for primary and secondary schools and more than half who had visas to study at universities.

7,072 of the students who had valid study visas in the country were nationals of China, 2,664 were from India, and 1,460 were from South Korea.

In 2022, a total of 1,000 international students will be able to return to New Zealand. The Ministry of Education said that the further border class exception for 1,000 international tertiary students has been approved by the government for the groups below:

  • 400 pilot trainees
  • 300 students at degree level and above
  • 300 students at the sub-degree level

Most universities in the country ask students to be vaccinated against COVID-19, including New Zealand’s largest university, the University of Auckland, which has required its students, staff, and visitors to be fully vaccinated from January 4, 2022, in order to be able to return to campus or to attend in-person activities.

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