Agents play key role in New Zealand's recruitment

20 May, 2015

Agents play a key role in the decision-making process of international students at New Zealand’s English language and PTE (private training establishment) sectors, according to the latest International Student Barometer reports released by Education New Zealand, while general satisfaction with schools and agents was high.


The English Language Barometer 2014 was completed by 2,103 students at 48 institutions, found that 57 per cent applied via an agent, and agents were the most commonly cited influence on students’ choice of institution, also at 57 per cent. Of the students that did apply to their institution via an agent, 60 per cent agreed that they would not have done so without the help of their agent.

Similar figures were recorded in the PTE sector barometer of 2,071 students at 31 providers, where 63 per cent booked their course through an agent, and 64 per cent said an agent was the biggest influence in the selection process.

Satisfaction ratings for those that used agents were also high; 92 per cent in the English language barometer (above the global English Language Barometer benchmark of 89 per cent) and 88 per cent in the PTE poll rated the agency service as either good or very good.

The vast majority of English language students (90 per cent) only applied to study in New Zealand. Teaching quality was cited as the top reason for the choice of destination (97 per cent), followed by personal safety (95 per cent), social life (89), institution reputation (89) and cost (88). A slightly lower ratio – 82 per cent – of PTE students only applied to New Zealand.

The overall satisfaction with the language school experience in New Zealand was high, with 89 per cent satisfied, one per cent higher than the previous survey in 2012 and one per cent above the global benchmark. Eighty-five per cent of students said they would recommend their school, a five per cent increase over the previous survey in 2012. However, New Zealand’s language schools fell below the global benchmark on technology-related areas of learning.

Similarly, satisfaction in the PTE sector stood at 88 per cent, again a one per cent increase compared with the previous survey and slightly above the global average, and 76 per cent said they would recommend their institution. Satisfaction levels with physical library facilities, online library facilities and learning technology were lower than the global benchmark.

The International Student Barometers were commissioned by Education New Zealand (ENZ) and conducted by i–graduate International Insight. The full results are available on ENZ’s seminar presentation page.

The English language barometer report echoes some of the findings of StudyTravel Magazine’s most recent Market Analysis feature on New Zealand ELT sector, which found that 77 per cent of participating schools’ students were recruited via agents in 2013.

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