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International Education Revenue Loss For 2021 Expected To Reach $480 Million

“The ACT Party can reveal that the loss to the international education sector for 2021 is expected to reach $480 million,” says ACT’s Immigration spokesperson James McDowall.

“In 2018 International Education was our fourth largest export sector. Now universities and polytechs are watching as Australia and Canada are preparing to welcome students in this year, while New Zealand gets left behind. The Government cannot afford to write-off this sector for the whole of 2022.

“According to Parliamentary Written Questions from Education Minister Chris Hipkins, Tertiary Education Institutions budgeted for $774 million of international student fee revenue in 2020. The actual result was $679 million in tuition fees in the 2020 year for a loss of around $105 million.

“While full year 2021 information is not yet available, forecasts from earlier in the year suggested international fee revenue would fall further in 2021 to around $480 million.

“What the tertiary sector needs now is certainty. We should have had a plan to let fully vaccinated students in at the start of this year – now that opportunity is lost.

“Chris Hipkins needs to tell us when students will be back and what the plan is to get them here. Will there be dedicated MIQ? Will they be able to isolate? How many students will they let in?

“Not only do we need this for the economic benefits, if these students have a good experience will become lifelong ambassadors for New Zealand when they return home and they bring a cultural diversity to New Zealand that is highly valued.”

Written Parliamentary Question:

Portfolio: Education (Hon Chris Hipkins) 
Question: How much revenue for tertiary institutions, if any, has been lost in international student fees due to the border closure from 19 March 2020? 
Reply: We cannot know what international fee revenue would have been if borders restrictions were not in place. We do, however, know that the Tertiary Education Institutions budgeted for $774 million of international student fee revenue in 2020. The actual result was $679 million in tuition fees in the 2020 year for a loss of around $105 million. While full year 2021 information is not yet available, forecasts from earlier in the year suggested international fee revenue would fall further in 2021 to around $480 million.

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