The economic value of New Zealand's international education industry stood at $4.28 billion last year, a significant increase on the 2014 figure of $2.85b.
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says that makes it New Zealand's fourth largest export industry, overtaking wood which is valued at $3.82b.
The 2015 economic value figure is made up of $4.04b from international students studying in New Zealand, and $242 million from services delivered offshore.
The latest figures are in a report commissioned from Infometrics and the National Research Bureau.
"While economic value is obviously important, international education brings much wider benefits to our institutions, our communities and our country," Mr Joyce said.
"International students add a rich diversity to our learning institutions and help to connect New Zealand to the world."