31 August 2016 at 9:00 am

What happens after graduation?

A New Zealand survey to identify employment and study outcomes for university graduates has shown that 43 per cent of international graduates who study in New Zealand remained here to work two years after graduation.

“While the majority of international students are taking their New Zealand university education into the global workplace, it is positive that nearly half are staying here - at least for a period of time,” says Grant McPherson, Chief Executive of Education New Zealand.

“It suggests that there are opportunities in New Zealand for young skilled people, and is great news for employers who will have a more diverse pool of  graduates to draw from in order to meet any skill shortages.”  


  • 48% of international graduates returned to live in their country of origin
  • 43% of international graduates remained to work in New Zealand
  • 9% international graduates currently live elsewhere overseas

Nearly 9,000 final-year university students participated in the baseline survey in 2011, and 70 per cent of these completed the first follow-up survey in 2014.  Some nine per cent were international students.

Graduates survey screengrab

The survey is part of the Graduate Longitudinal Study New Zealand (GLSNZ) which aims to determine how the lives and career goals of students are progressing. Over 80 per cent of the participants say they are currently employed.

The study was commissioned by Universities New Zealand with funding support from the  Ministry of Education and Ministry of Women’s Affairs.  It  is being carried out by the Dunedin-based  National Centre for Lifecourse Research.

The researchers will complete further follow-up surveys five and 10 years after graduation.

What's in it for me?