International student enrolments in New Zealand 2002-2008
This report summarises the publicly available data, from four main sources, on enrolments of international students within New Zealand education provider sectors from 2002 to 2008. Summary information is also stated on the numbers of approved student visas and permits during the 2002/03 to 2008/09 financial years.
Author(s): International Division, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: July 2009
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Section 3: Student visas and permits
The Immigration Service of the Department of Labour collates information on the numbers of approved (and declined) applications for student visas and student permits3. This information for seven key source countries is summarised in Table 3, on a financial year basis (i.e. for the years ending 30 June).
Since the peak in 2003/04 there has been a 53% decline in total approvals for Chinese students, from 62,417 to 22,917 in 2008/09. There was a very marked increase in student visa and permit approvals for Saudi Arabian students, rising from 381 in 2005/06 to 3,162 in 2008/09. Significant growth was also recorded in the numbers of approvals for students from India.
|All Other Economies:|
Chart 4: 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 financial year. The notable exceptions are that the visas approved for people from South Korea and Japan are much lower than their enrolment numbers. This is because many Korean and 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.
The majority of international enrolments in New Zealand continue to come from the three main North Asian countries of China, Japan, and South Korea. These three countries provided 55% of all enrolments in 2008. There are also a significant number of students from Taiwan.
|Institutions||China4||Japan||South Korea||Taiwan ROC|
The spread of Chinese students across provider groups is concentrated within the public tertiary education institutions, though a decline has been evident in this sector due to a marked fall in new enrolments of Chinese students since 2004.
It is apparent that most Japanese students enrolled within private training establishments (67% in 2008), as did students from Taiwan. South Korean students were concentrated in the schools, and private training establishment sectors, with relatively few enrolled with 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, Malaysia and Vietnam from 2006 to 2007. There are wide variations in the enrolment patterns of students. Malaysian students were mainly enrolled in public tertiary education institutions, whereas Thai students were predominantly enrolled with private training establishments. Vietnamese student enrolments are more broadly spread across the provider groups.
There has been a rapid growth in enrolments of students from India from 2007 to 2008, particularly within public tertiary education institutions and private training establishments.
It is notable that the 61% increase in enrolments of Indian students recorded from 2007 to 2008 is greater than the 41% increase in approved student visas and permits granted to Indian nationals from 2007/08 to 2008/09, as shown in Table 3.
The Middle East
Students from the Middle East studying in New Zealand are mainly from Saudi Arabia, and these students have predominantly enrolled in private training establishments (71% in 2008).
Qatar & Bahrain
|Turkey & Iran|
Enrolments of European students are concentrated within private training establishments and the public tertiary education institutions. Enrolment information for the top four European source countries is stated in Table 8. From 2007 to 2008 there were marked increases in enrolments of German students in schools, and in French enrolments with private training establishments.
Enrolments of students from North America (overwhelmingly the United States of America) are predominantly within the public tertiary education institutions.
United States |
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 10.
- 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.