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Revenue growth despite lower international enrolments

Hon Steven Joyce

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills & Employment 

23 August 2013       Media Statement       

Revenue growth despite lower international enrolments

The international education sector is showing further revenue growth, despite lower enrolments at Private Training Establishments (PTEs) contributing to a three per cent decline in overall enrolment numbers says Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce.

Data released today in the International Education Snapshot report for 1 January to 30 April 2013 shows enrolments in Universities and Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) increased by two per cent and three per cent respectively, while enrolments at PTEs declined 10 per cent year-on-year.

“While overall enrolment numbers are down slightly, our international education sector is continuing to perform well, with the TEC reporting a further $25 million increase in international fees at tertiary institutions to $404 million in the year to June,” Mr Joyce says.

“Higher levels of study are experiencing significant growth with masters level enrolments up by 22 per cent, and PhDs up by six per cent in the University sector.”

Other key findings from the report include:

·         International student enrolments in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) courses are up four per cent at universities, 10 per cent at institutes of technology and polytechnics, and 20 per cent at PTEs.
·         Continued growth in Chinese student numbers, increasing by five per cent and accounting for 30 per cent of international enrolments for the year to date
·         Eight per cent growth for internationally focused PTEs and four per cent growth for ITPs in the Canterbury region, but an overall decline in international student numbers in Canterbury

“While overall international student numbers in Canterbury continue to be affected by the aftermath of the earthquakes, the rate of decline is slowing. This is positive for the region and I have confidence that the enrolment numbers will increase as Canterbury tertiary education providers get back on their feet,” Mr Joyce says. 

“More generally we are seeing a move towards higher levels of study and longer periods of study in New Zealand, and that is positive for our brand. However the high New Zealand dollar and increased competition are affecting student enrolments at a number of private sector providers particularly. Officials are continuing to review the policy settings for international education to ensure New Zealand retains its competitiveness across the different sectors.

“International students are vital to New Zealand, both in terms of their economic contribution while they are in the country, and as ambassadors for New Zealand when they return home.”

As part of Budget 2013, the Government is investing $40 million over the next four years in marketing and promoting New Zealand’s international education industry, as the country targets doubling the value of international education to $5 billion by 2025.

The international education snapshot: January to April 2013 is available at:


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