31 January 2024 at 12:47 pm
International education is a win:win for NZ communities and visiting students
International education is delivering for both the international students and the New Zealand communities in which they study and live. These are the key findings of two research projects to measure the student experience and the views New Zealanders hold towards international education which have just been released by Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ).
· 84 percent of international students studying in New Zealand rate their overall experience positively.
· 75 percent of New Zealanders believe that international students benefit New Zealand.
International education is delivering for both the international students and the New Zealand communities in which they study and live. These are the key findings of two research projects to measure the student experience and the views New Zealanders hold towards international education which have just been released by Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ). ENZ is the New Zealand government agency focused on international education.
Student experience in New Zealand
In the 2023 International Student Experience survey of 4,755 international students from more than 70 nationalities, 84 percent rated their overall experience positively, while another 83 percent said they would recommend New Zealand as a study destination.
Students were most positive about their personal development and outcomes, with 87 percent saying the experience helping encourage their curiosity and develop new ideas. Students were also very positive (88 percent) about the people and connections they made in New Zealand.
New Zealand was the first choice of study destination of 78 percent of respondents and 64 percent said their New Zealand experience had met or exceeded their expectations, which is consistent with previous research.
Commenting on the results, ENZ General Manager for Marketing and Communications Geoff Bilbrough, said the results showed that New Zealand’s ability to deliver a quality education to international students had remained strong through the recent pandemic, and augured well for further recovery of the sector.
“The strong preference of students for New Zealand as a place where they can obtain a high quality education while enjoying unique personal development and learning experiences really shone through in the student experience survey.”
"The fact that 83 percent would recommend New Zealand based on their personal experience is also very positive, because they will share their experience with friends and families. This word-of-mouth testimony builds resilience for New Zealand as an international education destination.”
In an ENZ survey of 1,100 New Zealanders conducted in December last year, 75 percent of respondents believe that international students benefit New Zealand.
The Ipsos Fast Facts survey, which drew responses from all regions of the country, saw 80 percent of respondents highlighting economic benefits, particularly in local communities, as a key reason for their positive view. Local and cultural contributions were also noted with 81 percent saying international students help local students learn about other cultures and ways of living, and contribute to New Zealand’s cultural diversity.
The results of the 2023 survey highlighted the continuing growth in support for international students and their positive impact on New Zealand since 2016 when only 57 percent believed international students helped the New Zealand economy and economic growth.
The proportion of New Zealanders who feel that international students make it harder for New Zealanders to get jobs also decreased from 34 percent in 2018 to 24 percent in 2023.
However, some respondents expressed concern that some international students use the New Zealand education system as a means to residency, while 32 percent felt New Zealand’s infrastructure in housing, transport and medical services is not well equipped to allow for international students.
Mr Bilbrough said the positive result from the domestic survey was also good news.
“International students have always been a significant contributor to regional economies. It is particularly pleasing that there is strong awareness and support of the cultural exchanges that happen when international students learn alongside New Zealand students and participate in our communities. While the research identified some challenges, the definite trend in awareness of the benefits international students bring to New Zealand is very positive for the future.”
For further information:
Sai Raje | Senior Communications Advisor, Education New Zealand
+64 21 479 649
Notes to Editors:
About Education New Zealand (ENZ) https://www.enz.govt.nz/
Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) is the government agency responsible for taking New Zealand’s education experiences to the world. ENZ promotes a New Zealand education as one that teaches students to be critical thinkers, problem solvers and lifelong learners, which will help them succeed in their future careers and create a positive impact on the world.
With approximately 100 staff in 18 locations around the world, ENZ works closely with New Zealand’s diverse education sector including schools, English language providers, Private Training Establishments, Te Pūkenga (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics), universities; and internationally with NZ Inc agencies, Government agencies and education providers to encourage sustainable growth and identify opportunities.