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International Student Levy Rates From 2005

International Student Levy Rates From 2005

Questions and answers

Why is it proposed to increase this levy now?

The levy has not been changed since 1998, and there has been a major increase since then in the number of international students studying at New Zealand schools.

In order to adequately reimburse the government for the consequent increased costs in respect of international students, the method of calculating the levy for primary school students has been re-assessed.

Why has the levy been re-assessed?

The levy was last calculated by the Ministry of Education in 1996, and changed from the start of 1998. This calculation was based on average capital costs.

Average capital costs per international student were calculated by multiplying the capital charge by the value of school land and buildings, and then dividing the result by the total number of students enrolled. If this approach was still used, then the levy rates would be much higher – up to $1650 per international student enrolled in state primary schools.

What is the new levy calculation method?

The new calculation is based on the marginal costs of international students enrolled with state primary and secondary schools. This approach only includes capital depreciation & maintenance expenses, and system costs.

What are ‘system costs’?

System costs include the quality assurance of international student programmes by the Education Review Office (ERO). This includes review of schools’ compliance with the current Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students, as well as the quality assurance of education provided to international students. Other system costs are those associated with preparing and implementing the guidelines for the pastoral care of international students (particularly of primary school age).

System costs also include English for Speakers of Other Languages support, the expense of recruiting and training additional teachers, support for education improvement, financial advice to schools, and teacher payroll management.

Why does the levy include the costs of ‘English for Speakers of Other Languages’?

In the 2003 Budget the Government provided $1.043 million to support schools by providing a number of ESOL initiatives.

These initiatives will assist teachers to access ESOL resources and to develop expertise in the field of teaching English as a second language. The ESOL initiatives to support international students include professional development opportunities, new ESOL International Advisers and the development of new resources.

As a practical matter, it is not feasible to separate the ESOL teaching services provided to international students from those which are funded for new migrant students, as they are often located in the same school classrooms. Consequently, it is reasonable to include the additional costs of this teaching support from within the funds provided for by the International Student Levy.

How is the levy paid?

The International Student Levy is deducted from schools' operating grants by the Ministry of Education, following preparation of an invoice return by school administrators.

Aren’t schools also charged the Export Education Levy?

The levy of $900 includes an allowance for the export education levy, because the Ministry of Education pays the export education levy on behalf of schools, and recoups this expense through the international student levy.

The export education levy was introduced to support development of the export education industry, and so has an entirely different purpose to the international student levy. The export education levy is currently charged at the rate of $185 per education provider, plus 0.45 per cent of revenue from their foreign fee-paying students.


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