New Zealand student visa issuance grows

10 August, 2015

The growth trajectory of New Zealand’s international education appears to be continuing, according to the latest student visa statistics released by Education New Zealand showing a 10 per cent increase in visas issued in the first half of 2015.

Total student visas issued in New Zealand, 2010-2015. Source - Student Visa Dashboard June 2015, Education New Zealand

The Student Visa Dashboard June 2015 release shows an additional 4,090 student visas were issued year-to-date June, compared with same period last year. For the first six months, New Zealand’s student visa issuance was tracking above all of the previous five years.

Within the total, first-time student visas (FSV) increased by 2,195 (10 per cent), while returning student visas rose by 1,895 (seven per cent).

China and India, New Zealand’s two largest source countries, were key drivers in the growth, with total student visas (TSV) up by 2,094 (17 per cent) and 1,620 (22 per cent) respectively. The Indian gains were predominantly concentrated in the Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITP) sector, while China’s increases were more evenly distributed across all segments.  

There was also strong growth in TSVs from the Philippines (76 per cent), the USA (22), Brazil (22) and Colombia (38 per cent), counterbalanced by declines from some key markets such as Saudi Arabia (-17 per cent), Vietnam (-9), Korea (-7) and Chile (-11).

The increase in visas for students from the Philippines came largely in the private training establishment (PTE) sector.

With regards to Vietnam, the report refers to increasing numbers of refused student visa applications. In 2014, Vietnam had an acceptance rate of only 70 per cent, according to data released by Immigration New Zealand. Under new rules introduced earlier this year, students from any country with a student visa success rate below 80 per cent must provide evidence of English language proficiency and cannot be internally assessed by their chosen providers.

Declines from Saudi Arabia and Chile, meanwhile, were attributed to uneven distribution of the King Abdullah Scholarship programme from the former, and the reduction of the secondary school scholarship scheme in the latter.

In terms of sectors, ITP’s had the largest growth in year-to-date TSVs at 50 per cent, followed by universities (nine) and PTEs (four). The secondary school sector suffered a slight decline of two per cent.

The data refers only to students entering on student visas and does not capture English language students on different visas.

Matthew Knott
News Editor



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