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March 18, 2013 | by  | in News |
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International Students Go Down

University Left Unsatisfied

The number of international students approved to study in New Zealand has dropped nearly a quarter since 2009, prompting scares for the industry worth up to $2.5 billion annually. 

Despite Government attempts to increase the number of international students, the Christchurch earthquake, recession and high dollar have all contributed to fewer international students in New Zealand. Fewer than 34,700 first-time student visas were approved last year, in comparison to 46,000 in 2009. 

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse says the Government is encouraging growth in the international sector.

“The export education sector contributes over $2 billion a year to the New Zealand economy, and the government has set an ambitious target to double that contribution by 2025”, he said.

Universities around New Zealand are feeling the financial impact of the declining rate of International students.

Victoria University had met just 47 per cent of its 2013 international-students target as at February 15, University Council documents show. 916 more students were required to meet the target of 1730, though this target is expected to be met during the year.

Victoria were unable to comment before Salient went to print.

Deputy Vice Chancellor of Waikato University Alister Jones said although the figures were “very concerning”, international student numbers had been dropping in New Zealand since 2004.

Immigration New Zealand General Manager Stephen Dunstan concurs, pointing to the Canterbury earthquakes and global trends as causes. 

“The earthquakes have meant a reduction of 36 per cent of international students in the region since 2011.

“It’s important to note there has been a drop in international education student numbers worldwide.”

China is the largest source of international students on 26 percent, followed by India at 13 per cent and South Korea on ten per cent.

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