Over 69,000 International Students in New Zealand

New Zealand Oceania International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Jul 02, 2024

New Zealand

69,135 international students were enrolled across all educational sectors in New Zealand in 2023, an increase of 67 percent compared to 2022, according to data from the government’s agency Education New Zealand.

The same reveals this represents 60 percent of annual enrolments in 2019. Nonetheless, international enrollment remains below the 2019 figure of 115,705, Erudera.com reports.

Commenting on these figures, Acting Chief Executive of Education New Zealand Linda Sissons said that, among other things, the improvement confirms that New Zealand is an attractive destination to study as well as a safe and welcoming environment.

“New Zealand is a small country and for many students, rubbing shoulders with people from other cultures gives them a greater understanding of the issues facing our complex world. In this time of fragile geopolitics, the melting pot of campus life can help build greater understanding and tolerance,” Sissons said.

The number of international students at universities, which, along with schools, are the largest subsectors for international students, saw a significant recovery. A total of 29,065 students were enrolled, which represented 86 percent of the enrollment levels observed in 2019.

Additionally, English language schools witnessed the highest increase in international students, up 511 percent from 1,565 to 9,570 between 2022 and 2023. 

China and India led as the two main contributors of international students in New Zealand last year, making up 35 and 17 percent of the entire student population in the country, respectively.

Japanese students were the third largest group, representing 10 percent of the total student body, followed by South Korea at five percent and Thailand at four percent.

“Enabling a thriving and globally connected New Zealand through world-class international education is a government priority. We are actively diversifying our recruitment efforts to reach international students in a broad range of countries,” Sissons added.

Earlier this year, Minister for Tertiary Education and Skills Penny Simmonds said there were 43 percent more international students in the country in the first eight months of 2023 than in 2022.  

Reports indicate that a reason behind the increasing number of international students in New Zealand are policy changes in competitive countries like Australia and the UK.

According to findings of a survey by IDP released this January, of 2,500 prospective students in a total of 67 countries, nearly half said they were reconsidering or unsure about their choice. About 47 percent also said they were reluctant to pursue studies in Australia, and 43 percent said the same for Canada. 

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