Drop in number of foreign students choosing New Zealand
Despite measures by the New Zealand government to attract more students from abroad, the number of those being approved to study in the country has dropped by around a quarter since 2009.
Last year saw a 10 per cent decline in the number of visa approvals compared to a year earlier. Last week Michael Woodhouse, Immigration Minister, said targets were being put in place to double the number of overseas students by 2025.
In order to make New Zealand more attractive, plans have been set out to extend working rights to students, reduce the time it takes to process visa applications and change health screening rules in order to cut red tape.
However, the number of people applying to study in New Zealand has continued to fall. Last year the figure for first-time applications was 34,700, down from 46,000 in 2009. Stephen Dunstan, Immigration General Manager, said the drop in numbers was due mainly to the high value of the New Zealand dollar, a shaky global economy and the earthquakes in Christchurch.
Mr Dunstan pointed out that international student numbers had been dropping around the globe and that there had been an 8.5 per cent drop in Australian enrolments last year. Raymond Huo, Labour export education spokesman, criticised the changes being made to immigration policy by the government as gimmicks. He added that the authorities were doing little to improve the reputation and quality of the education sector.
The NZD exchange rates on 18/03/2013 were as follows: GBP NZD = 1.8272, EUR NZD = 1.5668, USD NZD = 1.2104, AUD NZD = 1.258, CHF NZD = 1.2777, INR NZD = 0.0224, AED NZD = 0.3298, MXN NZD = 0.0975, CAD NZD = 1.1838, ZAR NZD = 0.1319, RUB NZD = 0.0393, . See today's New Zealand Dollar Exchange Rate
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