Study Abroad: Number of International Students is Increasing, but not Everywhere, Know Why?

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Study Abroad: Number of International Students is Increasing, but not Everywhere, Know Why?
According to visa data, foreign students are returning to Aotearoa at a faster pace than they were before the pandemic, but polytechnics and schools are losing out.

Immigration New Zealand granted 32,445 study visas for freshmen between the beginning of September last year and the end of April this year, a period of eight months. Compared to the same period in 2018–19, when 29,616 applications were approved, this was an increase of 10%.

Despite long-standing intentions to diversify markets, Aotearoa may be growing more dependent on China for students. According to Immigration New Zealand’s visa statistics. According to the statistics, 21% of new study visas went to Chinese students, up from 17% in the same time prior to the epidemic, while 14% went to Indian students, down from 26%.

Six percent of new visas went to students from the Philippines and South Africa, percentages that were essentially unchanged from pre-pandemic levels. Similarly, as per a recent assessment from Education New Zealand (ENZ), New Zealand ranked in the bottom three for the variety of its foreign student population out of 25 nations that accept international students.

According to the report, only nine countries account for 80% of Aotearoa’s international students, as opposed to 12 or 13 for Australia and Canada and more than 30 for several European countries. As per the research, with the total number of visa approvals more than doubling since 2019, India has emerged as the top source of international students in New Zealand’s main rival countries, the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, and Canada.

Study Abroad: Number of International Students is Increasing, but not Everywhere, Know Why?

Chinese student study visa applications had decreased by 28% in the same set of nations, presumably as a result of travel restrictions into and out of China. Nigeria had surpassed Nepal as the third-largest supply nation for the UK, Canada, and Australia, respectively.

Direct Economic Contribution

Also, according to the ENZ data, there were 12,791 people with valid study visas in August of last year, and by March of this year, there were 33,438, or almost half as many as there were before the pandemic. As per the research, the direct economic contribution of overseas education decreased from $3.7 billion in 2019 to $800 million in 2018.

According to the report, university approval rates were up 4% from December to February compared to the same period before the epidemic, while permission rates for schools, polytechnics, and private postsecondary institutions were down 50%. The reduction in polytechnic enrollment was attributed to changes in residency and employment rights, whilst the pandemic’s loss of experienced foreign education staff hurt school enrollment.

Chris Whelan, CEO of Universities New Zealand, stated that while universities were pleased with the quantity of international students coming to New Zealand, they were “not so much” pleased with the diversity of the source nations. According to him, colleges could not diversify on their own and that new immigration policies were necessary to entice more students from a wider range of nations to register.

Due to current regulations, Whelan claimed that New Zealand was missing out on the robust growth that other nations were seeing from nations with big middle classes and a desire for international education, such as Nigeria and Nepal.

He was not shocked that diversification has not improved despite aspirations for it. “I’m not shocked,” you could say, since some immigration and visa policies make it relatively simple to continue doing business in existing markets but more challenging to enter new ones.

Some of the things that we would really like to see are the financial evidentiary requirements being more in line with those of the nations with which we compete, as sometimes students from those nations come from banking systems that make it difficult for them to meet the requirement. It would take time to diversify the source countries, according to Marie Clark, director of insights at ENZ, while other countries were still heavily reliant on students from China and India.

The main goal is to rebuild the sector’s base and strength, and the simplest way to achieve so is to enter areas where we are aware that there is a substantial interest in New Zealand. That’s not to suggest that providers aren’t considering other nations, according to Clark.

“Over the long term, we believe they will be able to diversify, but you need to have a strong foundation from which to do so, and that’s what the sector is telling us very clearly,” the author said. Clark stated that ENZ was closely examining the sources of students used by rival nations.

“If you look at some of the rival locations, they are experiencing growth in other Asian countries. Keeping a careful eye on it to see if it could have an impact on New Zealand providers as Australia has seen growth in various Latin American nations.

Although there were more fresh enrollments than before the pandemic, Clark predicted that the overall number of international students would not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2030.

According to John van der Zwan, executive director of the Schools International Education Business Association, some schools are attempting to re-establish their international enrollments with wholly new employees. The demand for New Zealand had also altered, he said, as some parents were reluctant to send their kids to a nation that had banned international travel for close to three years.

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