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NZ Retains International Education Market Share

15 November 2004

‘New Zealand Retains International Education Market Share’

‘In a difficult year for international education, New Zealand continues to attract high numbers of international students. That is an achievement that speaks volumes about our international competitiveness and the value of our product, and refutes absolutely any notion that international education is either a ‘one shot wonder’ or an industry in decline’.

That’s the view of Robert Stevens, Chief Executive of Education New Zealand, following the latest data on international student numbers. This data showed an overall growth in the number of international students studying at a tertiary level, particularly in Universities.

The latest data relates to the number of international students up to the end of August 2004, and is set out below alongside the equivalent numbers for the same period in 2003.

2003 2004

University 22,574 26,665 Polytechnic 10,863 11,027 Colleges of Education 390 649 Private Tertiary 6,453 6,173 English Language 34,715 33,722

Data released recently for the school sector shows a 17% fall in the number of international students, from 17,448 to 14,477.

‘Overall, the trend is in line with the international market, with increasing demand for higher tertiary education and a softening of demand at the entry levels. The current figures show a 24% decline in the number of student weeks in the English language sector, which is having quite an impact. However, the overall value of international education to New Zealand is likely to rise in 2004, buoyed by the higher value of study and the longer engagement at the under and post-graduate levels’.

‘Comparisons with our international competitors are interesting’ says Robert Stevens. ‘Australia has recorded a static trend in the English language sector, a 9% reduction in the schools sector, and a 7% increase in the university sector (compared to New Zealand’s 18% increase in the university sector). In the US, international tertiary student numbers have declined 2.4% - the first decline in 32 years. Challenging market conditions are not only impacting on New Zealand’.

‘There is no question that the international education market is tough, and students have more choices than ever before’ says Robert Stevens. ‘However, New Zealand continues to perform well and attract significant numbers of international students to our shores. This is good news educationally, and good news economically’.


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