New Zealand records best enrolments for a decade

22 June, 2015


New Zealand welcomed its highest number of international students since 2004 last year following a 13 per cent increase, according to data released by Education New Zealand (EdNZ) recently.



New Zealand's international student enrolments 2014 (top 25 markets), Source - Education New Zealand, New Zealand International Education Snapshot, 2014 Full Year Report


The 13 per cent rise equated to an additional 13,091 students and a total of 110,198 students in 2014, surpassing the pre-Christchurch earthquake levels, with growth recorded by all international education sectors and most major areas.

“This is a great result for education providers nationwide. More students lead to a greater economic contribution to education providers and their communities,” said Steven Joyce, Tertiary Education Minister.

The largest market increase came from India, which provided an additional 8,135 students – 67 per cent more than in 2013. China, comfortably the largest source country, rose by 12 per cent to a total of 30,179, and there was also notable double-digit growth from the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia and Brazil.

The largest individual sector growth was in the private training establishment (PTE) segment, which rose by 23 per cent overall – increasing to 37 per cent when excluding English language schools – to 53,660 students, its best-ever performance. An increase of 7,008 Indian students substantially fuelled the rise.

The English language sector arrested four years of declines with a five per cent jump to 20,548 students. English New Zealand (ENZ) Chair, Darren Conway, said the association’s members collectively increased by 18 per cent in 2014.

Growth was slower in the university sector at three per cent, where a record rise in postgraduate-level enrolments (18 per cent) masked a slight decline at undergraduate level. China was the driving force behind university growth with an extra 1,294 students.

The Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP) sector experienced 15 per cent growth to an all-time high level of enrolments (14,151), led by Indian and Chinese students growth,  and the school sector rose by four per cent.

Auckland accounted for 62 per cent of all international students in 2014, and experienced 17 per cent year-on-year growth. The Canterbury region, meanwhile, increased by 18 per cent – its strongest performance since the year of the Christchurch earthquake.

In an analysis paper accompanying the data, Education New Zealand outlined some of the promotional activities it has undertaken that have contributed to the growth, and cited building stronger agent ties in China and Brazil among them.

Despite the overall increases for New Zealand, the Korean market continues to struggle.  Continuing a four-year downward trend, Korea declined by six per cent (532 fewer students). EdNZ referred to a slowing Korean economy and declining demand for study abroad. StudyTravel Magazine’s most recent agency surveys on Korea have tracked business declines in the agency business.

As previously reported, New Zealand’s overall growth has continued into early 2015, according to the first quarter student visa statistics from Immigration New Zealand and the first trimester student and student week statistics provided by English New Zealand.

International education sector income from tuition fees rose by 17 per cent to NZ$844 million (US$581.7 million) in 2014, and EdNZ estimated the total value of the industry at NZ$2.85 billion (US$1.96 billion).

“To continue growing the value of this important industry, New Zealand will need to stay focussed on communicating its distinctiveness, delivering on the student experience and accelerating the export or our education services expertise and education products,” said Joyce.

“We also need to make sure the growth is sustainable. Government agencies are working together to ensure provider standards remain at appropriately high levels.”

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