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Many Overseas Teachers Here to Stay


27 April 2000
Immediate Release

Many Overseas Teachers Here to Stay

Many overseas teachers are choosing to live here permanently, according to the latest Ministry of Education research.

The Ministry's Research Division has found that two-thirds of the overseas teachers who have come to New Zealand in the past few years want to stay for more than two years.

The research conducted during 1999 shows that 60% of overseas teachers already had residency, a further 8% had applied and 14% were considering applying.

The survey, by research analyst Sharon Dewar, showed that four out of five of the teachers who came here from South Africa already had residency compared with about half of those who came from England.

The proportion of South African teachers rose from 33% in 1998 to 39% a year later, as a result of them staying longer in New Zealand. Teachers from England comprised 26%, up from 20%, while those from Canada and Australia continued to decrease, to 12% and 6% in 1999.

The purpose of the survey was to determine the intentions of overseas teachers who came here to teach in 1997, 1998 and 1999, as well as to get information that would be helpful in the future overseas recruitment of secondary teachers.

Of the 949 overseas teachers who responded to the survey, 60% were teaching in primary schools and 40% in secondary schools, compared with 68% - 32% in 1998.

More than half of overseas teachers were teaching in the Auckland district, and only 6% were in the South Island.

Asked why they came here, more than half of the overseas secondary teachers said they had already planned to emigrate and a third cited travel. A third of them said they wanted to gain teaching experience in another country, while more than one in ten said there were no teaching positions in their own country.

Others came with a desire for a better lifestyle for their families, some citing crime and political instability in their home countries.

Most of the overseas secondary teachers said our lifestyle attracted them to teach here, as well as the availability of teaching positions, outdoor pursuits, family reasons and to gain teaching experience.

Nearly half of the overseas secondary teachers found out about their jobs here via the Internet, well up on the 20% in a survey undertaken in April 1997. Nine out of ten applied for their jobs directly to schools.

The 1999 survey follows four research projects on overseas teachers in 1997 and 1998 conducted to establish baseline data on overseas teachers.

Country of origin of overseas teachers (per cent)

Primary Secondary::::: Total

South Africa::::::::::42.3::::::::::33.7::::::::::38.9
Canada::::::::::15.9:::::::::: 6.4::::::::::12.1
Australia:::::::::: 6.8:::::::::: 5.0:::::::::: 6.1
Scotland:::::::::: 2.8:::::::::: 3.7:::::::::: 3.2

The subjects taught by overseas secondary teachers surveyed were maths 29.4%, sciences 28.4%, technology 21.5%, English 20.2% and phys ed 14.6%.

Copies of the research reports on overseas teachers are available from the Research Division of the Ministry of Education: Phone (04) 473 5544. email


Ministry of Education contact: Lynne Whitney, Senior Manager, Research Phone: (04) 471 6143

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