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Changing Face Of Nz University Graduate Population

Changing Face Of Nz University Graduate Population

The make up of New Zealand’s university graduate population is changing with more international graduates and greater ethnic diversity, a situation reflected by the latest University Graduate Destinations publication released today.

The report, which looks at outcomes for the 28,973 people who became eligible to graduate from one of the country’s eight universities in 2003, is based on an annual survey carried out by the Standing Committee on Graduate Employment of the NZ Vice-Chancellors’ Committee.

Of those 28,973 individuals, 3437 were classified as international graduates in that they required a permit to study in this country. The ethnic make up of the university graduate population is seeing some shifts with only 60.8 per cent now identifying themselves as European/Parkeha, down from 64.6 per cent in 2002. Correspondingly, the proportion of the university graduate population identifying themselves as Asian is growing at 19.4 per cent, up 2.4 per cent on 2002.

The proportions of the other university graduate ethnicities – NZ Maori, Pacific and Indian – remain stable (5.6 per cent, 2.4 per cent and 2.1 per cent respectively) but some growth is occurring in the “other” category which is up 2.0 per cent on 2002. This growth is likely to be another outcome of the increasing number of international students attending New Zealand universities.

The report shows the majority of graduates (50.1 per cent) from the New Zealand university system are in the 18 to 24 age group with a further 18.5% in the 25 to 29 age group. The proportion of university graduates aged 50 years or older is 5.0 per cent.

Of the3437 international graduates, 42.9 per cent identified China as their country of origin, almost double the proportion recorded in the previous survey (22.1 per cent). Commerce/business was by far the most popular field of study for international graduates, with 45.2 per cent gaining university qualifications in this area.

While information on the total survey population is based on student records supplied by the universities, other content in University Graduate Destinations comes from the 10,844 student responses (10,136 New Zealand, 708 international) to the survey questionnaire.

These responses show that approximately six months after graduation, 62.4 per cent of New Zealand respondents were in full-time employment with 19.6 per cent undertaking further full-time study. A total of 586 New Zealand respondents were recorded as being overseas, up 20 on the previous survey. The survey questionnaire allows for multiple destinations, meaning that respondents can fully report their situation; for instance employed part-time, studying full-time and seeking full-time employment.

New Zealand respondents in full-time employment who supplied salary details (4387 individuals) had average salaries of $50,388 (males) and $42,112 (females), up $1172 and $472 respectively on the figures recorded in the previous survey.

Of the 708 international respondents, 347 were working full-time, more than half of them (59.1 per cent) in this country. The employed part-time destination was reported by 18.1% of international respondents with 29.8% stating they were not employed.

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