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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International tertiary enrolments by qualification level
The tertiary Single Data Return (SDR) system operated by the Ministry of Education allows for detailed extraction of data on the enrolments of international students in public and private tertiary education providers, according to their qualification level. Table 11 presents the trend in international enrolments since 2002 (note – this data is not directly comparable with the Export Education Levy data in the Appendices).
It is notable that there have been marked changes in demand from international students for the qualifications taught by tertiary education providers. From 2002 to 2007 there was a 55% decline in international enrolments in certificate courses. Similarly, from 2003 to 2007 there was a 35% fall in enrolments in diploma courses. Conversely, there has been a marked rise in international enrolments in postgraduate courses, rising 147% from 2002 to the end of 2008. There was a very marked increase in international doctorate (PhD) enrolments from 2005 to 2008 (rising from 692 to 1,960 students). This increase can largely be attributed to the 'domestic fees status for new international PhD students' policy introduced from 2006.
Chart 5: Proportion of international enrolments by qualification level
Table 12 shows there were substantial variations in the profile of qualifications enrolments according to the regional origins of international students. In 2008 the great majority of international tertiary students came from Asia (71%), followed by Europe (10%) and Northern America (8%).
The largest proportion of Asia enrolments were in undergraduate courses (41%), as were most North American enrolments (58%). European enrolments had the highest proportion of participation in postgraduate courses (29%).
A comparison with New Zealand tertiary enrolments during 2008 shows that, overall, international enrolments were much more focused on undergraduate studies (40% vs 28%), and had a substantially higher proportion of postgraduate enrolments (14% vs 8%). During 2008 the 39,783 international tertiary students made up nearly 9% of all tertiary students enrolled with New Zealand tertiary providers.
|% of students||1%||71%||2%||10%||3%||8%||5%|