The number of international students enrolling at our tertiary institutions in South Island took a massive hit last year, which Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment minister Steven Joyce attributed the earthquakes and aftershocks in Christchurch.
But the country as a whole did better than the previous year.
“The earthquakes in Canterbury have severely impacted the number of people from overseas wishing to study in Christchurch, the second largest centre for international education,” he said.
He said the government is committed to supporting the city’s schools, universities, polytechnics and private training establishments in attracting more overseas students, he said.
“Education New Zealand, the lead government agency for international education, has been working closely with key stakeholders to help the Christchurch market recover,” he said.
But international student numbers rose by 6% in other parts of the country, with income moving up by 3.3%.
Mr Joyce said there was an increase in student numbers from China, India and Saudi Arabia.
“The results show that despite the downturn in student numbers in Christchurch, the rising value of the dollar and stiff international competition, the international education industry remains in good shape to double its economic contribution to New Zealand to $5 billion by 2025,” he said.