Institutions in New Zealand Are Recovering
|17 May, 2023
International student numbers in New Zealand have increased since the reopening of borders in July 2022, but student visa rates remain below pre-pandemic levels.
According to recent data, visa approvals for applicants to recent Zealand universities exceeded pre-pandemic levels at the start of 2023, but other sectors remain lower than in 2019.
The country's recovery since borders reopened has been described as “variable at best” by the head of Education New Zealand.
“Even within the university sector, that on the face of it looks to have recovered better than others, the experience is mixed,” Grant McPherson, the organization's CEO, said in a statement.
“Within the [Private Training Establishments] and English language schools, we have a long way to go to reach the levels of 2019 and early 2020.
“In such a highly competitive market, it is going to take some time to regain awareness with learners and overcome the head start other countries gained,” she added.
There were over 34,000 international student visa holders in the country at the beginning of March 2023, up from 125,000 in 2018.
Chinese, Indian, South Korean, and Japanese students were the most common student nationalities.
While Chinese students represent a higher proportion of visa approvals than before the pandemic, the proportion of Indian student visa holders has declined.
Data from the Study with New Zealand website indicate that interest in the country is growing as web traffic increases, partially due to the online marketing of Education New Zealand.
The top website user nationality in February was Indian, followed by Vietnamese, Brazilians, Thais, and Japanese.
McPherson predicted that “tight” budgets would hinder New Zealand's recovery. “We need to focus our limited resources to where they have the greatest impact, and we need to be aligned as one with the sector,” he said, naming India as a market “worthy of focus”.