The New Zealand international education sector: Trends from 1999 to 2004 Publications
This report sets out the available information on the key trends in enrolments of foreign fee-paying (FFP) students within the New Zealand education sectors, including primary and secondary schools, public tertiary education institutions (i.e. universities, polytechnics/institutes of technology, colleges of education) and private training establishments (including English language schools).
Author(s): International Division and Education Information and Analysis, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: December 2005
From 1999 to 2003, New Zealand’s previously small international education sector, that is, in terms of enrolments of foreign fee-paying students, experienced rapid growth. Enrolment numbers rose by 318 percent over the five year period to nearly 119,000, with an estimated economic value of $2.2 billion. The sector has had acommensurately increasing impact on the wider education system, greater importance to the national economy and higher visibility in society.
However, in the 2003–2004 period there was a decline in student inflows from countries in north Asia, with the main impact affecting enrolments in schools and English language training providers.
The rapid development of the international education sector has raised a number of issues for the New Zealand government and the lead industry bodies. Among these are the need for enhanced quality assurance systems, implemented through the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of Foreign Fee-Paying Students (operated by the Ministry of Education), and the processes of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
A need for greater investment in cross-sector promotion in international source countries has become apparent, and there has been increased interest in professional development among providers and in research into education activities and effectiveness. Extensive cooperation between the government and the lead industry bodies has resulted in the development of a number of initiatives.
Export Education Development Programme
A wide range of development and risk management activities for the export education industry, including international promotions, research, professional development and quality assurance, are funded through the Export Education Levy. The levy is authorised according to section 238 of the Education Act 1989. Regulations prescribing the levy first came into force on 10 January 2003. The levy consists of a flat fee component of $185 payable by each provider, together with 0.45 percent of tuition fee income from international students.
International Education Budget Package
The 2004 Budget stated a significant commitment to supporting international education with a new investment of $40 million over the next four years, designed to lift New Zealand's profile overseas and further strengthen the sector through a comprehensive programme of new activity. The Budget package provided funding to support a range of activities across five broad areas. The new initiatives include:
- Education diplomacy - offshore education counsellor positions will be
- established to work in key markets overseas;
- Strengthening quality - in conjunction with the sector, the focus will go on identifying the best ways to improve achievement of international students. This will include the development of good practice examples and quality assurance indicators; and extending the scope of New Zealand quality assurance systems to cover off-shore programmes by New Zealand providers. It will be linked to our domestic focus on strategies for effectively teaching students from diverse backgrounds;
- Scholarships - to attract top international post-graduate and undergraduate students to study and carry out research in New Zealand. From 2005 about 33 scholarships will be available annually for international students at doctoral (PhD) level and there will be 33 scholarships at the undergraduate level. By 2007 there
- will be 200 of these scholarships available;
- Study Abroad awards - to increase opportunities for talented New Zealand students, teachers and researchers to undertake overseas study. By 2007 there will be at least 100 awards each year at secondary and 100 at tertiary level. The first 33 tertiary awards will be available in 2005, while the secondary awards will be introduced progressively from the beginning of 2006;
- The Export Education Innovation Programme - funding will help New Zealand providers to research risk factors, build capability, access seed funding for new products and partnerships, and undertake feasibility studies on options like satellite campuses, e-learning, and off shore courses; and
- Generic promotion and marketing - to support the promotion of New Zealand education internationally, with improved co-ordination of marketing efforts and promotion of an effective national brand in a wider range of markets.
On 19 April 2005 the government announced extra spending of $21 million on international education over the next four years, to further boost the industry in New Zealand and strengthen bi-lateral links offshore. This brings the government’s investment in international education to over $70 million across the five years from June 2004 to 30 June 2009.
- The new funding lowers the cost of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) study to domestic fee levels for new international students enrolled in New Zealand universities, from the beginning of 2006.
- It also allows the children of all international PhD students to attend school without paying international student fees.
- The new funding also speeds up the establishment of the off-shore education counsellor network with three new education counsellors. It allows for expansion of the network from four to at least seven countries or regions by the end of 2006.