International Student Enrolments in New Zealand 2004-2010
This report is the latest in a series of annual summaries of the publicly available data, from three main sources, on the number of enrolments of international students with New Zealand education providers.
Author(s): International Division, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: April 2011
This report is available as a download (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box). To view the individual chapters please refer to the 'Sections' inset box. For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.
Section 3: Student visas and permits
The Immigration Service of the Department of Labour collates information on the numbers of applications for student visas and student permits2. The information for key source countries is summarised in Table 3, on a calendar year basis.
Since 2004 there has been a 59% decline in total applications and approvals for Chinese students, from 55,937 to 22,799 in 2010. Over the same period there was a 297% increase in applications and approvals for Indian students, rising from 3,013 in 2004 to 11,963 in 2010. Japanese and South Korean student applications have declined over time, whereas the share granted to students from other parts of the world has risen 47%, from 30,731 in 2004 to 45,265 in 2010.
|Annual % change||-8%||-11%||-2%||-6%||3%||4%||0%|
Chart 5: Total approved student visas and permits
A comparison with the enrolment information for calendar years shows that there is usually a close relationship with the total approved student visas and permits in each year. The notable exceptions are that the visas approved for people from Japan (and South Korea, to a lesser extent) are much lower than the enrolment numbers. This is because many Japanese students who are enrolled in short courses with English language providers are understood to be in New Zealand on visitor visas, which are not included in the student visa and permit records.
Information is also available on the number of first-time approved student visas and permits. This data is a leading indicator of changes in demand from prospective international students, and the trends evident in first-time approvals are generally reflected in total approvals and enrolment figures in subsequent years. Chart 6 shows the trend since 2004. Total first-time approvals rose from a low of 25,145 in 2005 to 39,708 in 2008, and reduced slightly to 38,815 in 2010.
Chart 6: Total first-time approved student visas and permits
The single largest proportion of international enrolments in New Zealand continues to come from the three main North Asian countries of China, Japan, and South Korea. These three countries provided 47% of all enrolments in 2010. There are also a significant number of students from Taiwan.
|Provider||China*||Japan||South Korea||Taiwan ROC|
The spread of Chinese students across provider groups was concentrated within the public tertiary education institutions and private training establishments. It is apparent that most Japanese students enrolled within private training establishments, as did students from Taiwan. South Korean students were concentrated in the schools and private training establishments, with relatively few people enrolled in the public tertiary education institutions.
South East Asia
The following table shows a sectoral breakdown for the four largest South East Asia source countries for international students. There were increases in student enrolments recorded from Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam from 2009 to 2010. There are wide variations in the enrolment patterns of students. Malaysian students were mainly enrolled in the universities, whereas Thai students were predominantly enrolled with schools and private training establishments. Vietnamese student enrolments were more broadly spread across the provider groups.
There has been a continued growth in enrolments of students from India from 2009 to 2010, particularly within the polytechnics/institutes of technology, and private training establishments.
It is notable that the 25% increase in enrolments of Indian students recorded from 2009 to 2010 was broadly consistent with the 19% increase in approved student visas and permits granted to Indian nationals from 2009 to 2010, as shown in Table 3.
The Middle East
Students from the Middle East region who are studying in New Zealand are overwhelmingly from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and these students have mainly enrolled in private training establishments – predominantly English language schools (i.e. 57% in 2010).
The summary enrolment information for the top four European source countries is stated in Table 8. With the exception of German students, European enrolments were concentrated within private training establishments. From 2009 to 2010 there were marked increases in enrolments of German students in schools and private training establishments, and in French enrolments with private training establishments.
Enrolments of students from Latin America (defined as the Central and South America regions) were mainly with private training establishments. Enrolment information for the top four source countries is stated in Table 9.
Enrolments of students from North America (overwhelmingly the United States of America) were predominantly within the universities. Overall enrolment levels did not change significantly from 2009 to 2010.
- Student visas are applied for by people resident in other countries. Student permits are usually applied for by people who have already arrived in New Zealand, who wish to study here.