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International student numbers show quake impact

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Christchurch's earthquakes have had a big impact on the number of international students studying in the city with a 37% drop in 2011, latest figures from the Education Ministry show.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce says the results were not unexpected.

"The earthquakes in Canterbury have severely impacted the number of people from overseas wishing to study in Christchurch," Mr Joyce says.

"Christchurch is normally New Zealand's second largest centre for international education and the Government is committed to supporting the city's schools, universities, polytechs and private training establishments in attracting more overseas students.

"Education New Zealand, the lead government agency for international education, has been working closely with key stakeholders to help the Christchurch market recover, and I will be talking to the sector about those plans tomorrow."

Despite a drop in Canterbury, the latest data shows that throughout the rest of New Zealand international student numbers increased by 6% and income from tuition rose by 3.3%.

In addition, there was an increase in student numbers from some of our key regions including 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," Mr Joyce says.

"It shows that New Zealand is maintaining its international reputation of delivering high quality education."

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