New Zealand overseas student numbers hit decade high in 2014

Updated: 2015-06-17 14:54


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WELLINGTON - The number of overseas students enrolled in New Zealand education institutions rose 13 percent last year to a decade high, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said Wednesday.

Full year enrollment figures for 2014 showed 110,198 international students studied in New Zealand, 13,091 more than in 2013.

"This is a great result for education providers nationwide. More students lead to a greater economic contribution to education providers and to their communities," Joyce said in a statement.

"There are now more international students developing a deeper understanding of New Zealand and making connections with New Zealanders. Not only that, studying alongside students from Shanghai to Sao Paulo helps prepare Kiwi students for work in an increasingly globalized world."

Growth in postgraduate level enrollments was up a record 18 percent at publicly funded tertiary providers, with masters-level enrollments up by 23 percent and doctoral level enrollments up 7 percent.

Tuition fee income from full fee-paying international students rose by 17 percent to 884 million NZ dollars (616.15 million U.S. dollars).

Internationally, New Zealand's growth was on par with Australia, where enrollments rose 12.3 percent in 2014 and ahead of the United States, where they were up 8 percent.

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

International education was New Zealand's fifth largest export industry, contributing 2.85 billion NZ dollars ($1.98 billion) to the economy annually and supporting more than 30,000 jobs.