Falling $NZ Attracts Foreign Students

Falling $NZ attracts foreign students

Sydney Morning Herald
February 12, 2009

The falling value of the New Zealand dollar has been a boost to education providers looking to attract international students.

In the year to February 1, Immigration NZ issued 67,530 student visas, 4200 more than last year, The New Zealand Herald reported on Thursday.

Education New Zealand, which promotes education services to overseas families, said some providers were reporting growth of up to 36 per cent.

Some parents were rushing to pay fees for up to two years upfront to take advantage of the New Zealand dollar's sharply reduced exchange rate.

That was happening even as the international student market worldwide cooled in the face of global recession,

Student numbers fell from 126,919 in 2002 to 90,934 in 2007.

The actual number of foreign students studying in New Zealand this year would not be known until next month at the earliest, as many who have applied for visas have not yet started their courses.

Education NZ chief executive Robert Stevens said several institutions had reported increases in applications.

“But whether these students turn up, we will only know when the term starts.”

International student applications at the University of Auckland are up 20 per cent on last year.

The university said it was on track to meet its international student targets for the year.

AUT University has had a 17 per cent increase in international student applications, said spokeswoman Tiffany White.