Chinese student influx expected to hold

  • 14/07/2015
Chinese student influx expected to hold

A slowdown in the Chinese economy and a slump in the country's stock markets which has eroded the savings of many investors isn't expected to crimp demand for education in New Zealand.

The number of Chinese students studying at New Zealand educational institutions increased 12 percent to 30,179 in 2014, from 2013, according to Education New Zealand, the government body which markets the country to international students.

International education is New Zealand's fifth largest export industry, contributing $2.85 billion to the economy and supporting more than 30,000 jobs.

China is the biggest market for international primary, secondary and tertiary students in New Zealand, accounting for 27 percent of the country's total 110,198 international students last year.

"It is too early to assess the future impact of recent stock market developments on the future flow of Chinese students to New Zealand," said Alexandra Grace, Education New Zealand regional director for Greater China, based in Beijing.

"However, at this stage we are not anticipating that it will have a significant impact.

"Although Chinese economic growth is slowing from very high levels seen in the past, China's growth is still relatively strong," she said.

"People's incomes are also growing, and so over the medium term we expect the demand for education in New Zealand to continue on its current upward trend."

Education New Zealand is focusing on building a diverse range of markets to help mitigate against possible future shocks and encourages education providers to ensure diversity in international student recruitment, Ms Grace said.

Last year, the number of students from India jumped 67 percent to 20,227, helping offset declines in mature markets such as Korea, which slipped six percent, and Malaysia, which declined 12 percent. Indonesian student numbers rose 16 percent while Thai students increased 19 percent.