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Industry Overview

International Education in New Zealand
International Education is one of New Zealand’s key export industries. New Zealanders accord a high importance to this industry. New Zealand has an international reputation as a provider of quality education and demand for study in New Zealand is growing rapidly. New Zealand’s pride of position as one of the best education locations is reflected by the fact that its education export industry is one of the country’s top five export industries and supports more than 32,000 full-time equivalent jobs. In 2014, International Education contributed around $2.85 billion to the New Zealand economy.

We have ambitious goals for the sector to achieve by 2025 that include to double the annual economic value to $5 billion through increasing international enrolments in tertiary institutions, private providers and schools. Universities have a 32 per cent share of export education’s contribution to GDP and for the eight universities, export education is a vital source of income.

Round the world, students graduating from New Zealand’s education environment are earning a reputation as a new breed of innovative thinkers and are enjoying career success. In 2014 we had a total of 111, 984 on-shore overseas students in New Zealand.  It is also encouraging to see a 15% increase in the number of international students approved to study in New Zealand. Education earns our country far more than some of the better known export industries, underlining the importance of international students to New Zealand’s future.

While enjoying the benefits of a British-based and internationally recognised and accredited education system, students choosing New Zealand also stumble across one of the world’s best kept secrets – easy, affordable access to superb sporting and recreational facilities and a unique natural environment.

New Zealand’s education system is world-class, modern and responsive. In fact, the OECD calls us a “top performing country” amongst developed nations for the quality of our education. New Zealand is First in world for education and fifth most prosperous country according to London-based think tank, The Legatum Institute.

Institutions and Qualifications
New Zealand offers a broad range of courses for academic, professional and vocational studies at universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, secondary schools and private training establishments.

Secondary School Education
New Zealand has over 400 secondary schools offering a wide range of subjects for Year 9 – 13 students (aged 13 to 18 years). The secondary school academic year is a four-term system, running from late January to mid-December with holidays in April, July and September.

English Language Schools
English language training is offered in a variety of settings with 27 English language schools affiliated to New Zealand universities or polytechnics and over 100 private language schools. Most private institutions are registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, ensuring high standards of tuition are maintained and courses meet internationally recognised standards.

Tertiary Studies
The tertiary academic year extends from late February to November with a number of study breaks in-between. Some institutions operate a semester system with two intakes each year (the second in July) for some of their programmes.

New Zealand’s eight world-class Universities offer a broad range of subjects for degrees in Commerce, Science and the Arts. In addition each university has also developed its own specialist subjects, such as Medicine, Engineering, Law, Computer Studies, Agriculture, Technology and Environmental Studies.
In some disciplines New Zealand is regarded as a world leader. With more than 70 percent of the country’s export earnings derived from biology-based industries, New Zealand has developed a world class bioscience industry in human and animal health, agriculture and horticulture and a range of other natural products. Biotechnology is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing sectors with a wave of research initiatives underway at universities. Other areas in which New Zealand is known for leading edge academic thinking and research include Resource Management and indigenous issues. North American First Nations students in particular come to New Zealand to study in an environment where indigenous perspectives are respected and incorporated into the education environment.

New Zealand has 18 Institutes of Technology and over 700 Private Training Establishments that provide job pathways into specialist industries play a crucial role besides the key government agencies that regulate New Zealand’s strong and rigorous quality assurance systems which ensure consistent, high quality education across all levels of the education system.  Hundreds of courses are offered in disciplines ranging from Art and Design to Fishing and Marine Studies, Tourism and Hospitality. The aim is for students to be ready for work the day they graduate.