During last week’s visit to India, John Key (New Zealand’s Prime Minister) and Narendra Modi (India’s Prime Minister) shared more than just optimism & goodwill in Delhi. In addition to discussing trade connections and the likelihood of a Free Trade Agreement, both the state Heads decided to join forces on one common sector, which is…education!
Since the past few years, the focus of New Zealand largely has been on students from India and China, two of the world’s top populated nations. Over the last five years, the volume of Indian students leaving for this pacific country has increased 2 ½ times!
From an odd 11,791 people in the year 2010, the tally rose to around 29,235 last year, according to statistics from ‘Education New Zealand’ – which is a New Zealand government agency. The largest advantage occurred in 2015 with a surge of 45% in comparison with 2014.
As a member of the John Key delegation, the Chief Executive of ‘Education New Zealand’, Grant McPherson, expressed to an English daily saying, “India is the second largest source market for overseas students behind China. Indian students constitute nearly 23 per cent of our overseas students’ population.”
This is interesting, largely because for most Indian students… New Zealand was not the topmost destination choice for education, till some years ago. Nations like the UK, US, Australia and Canada have usually been the topmost options on their list. As per McPherson, the credit goes to New Zealand’s liberal outlook and quality education for drawing a progressing number of students from India. “Additionally, New Zealand offers work rights during the course of study as well as post-study for students who meet certain criteria, which attracts students,” McPherson added.
The university of Auckland ranks amid the 100 top universities according to the ranking by QS world, and other various varsities that are in the top 200. Furthermore, there are more than 250 private educational institutions that are licensed to admit international students, a maximum in Auckland. Last year, nearly 21,000 students from the 29,200 enrolled in private institutions that offer relatively affordable education. As per education experts overseas, UK and USA’s loss is actually aiding New Zealand’s gain! “Things started changing for New Zealand after 2012. Around the same time, the UK had tightened its visa norms abolishing post-study-visa which led to a drastic drop in the number of Indian students going to the UK. The US government has also cracked down on institutions that are a favorite among Indian students. This has led to increased application for countries like NZ and Singapore,” stated a counselor for overseas education from Mumbai.
A report from UK’s ‘Higher Education Statistics Agency’ revealed a drop in the number of Indian students within 2009-10 & 2013-14 from 38,500 to a low hanging number of 19,700. The overseas student market, in fact, is the 5th largest export division worth around $3 billion of which just tuition fee solely contributes to nearly a billion. By 2025, John Key’s government intends to increase it to a whopping $5 billion! Considering that Indian students represent almost 1/4th of the total population of international students (mainly postgraduate & Ph.D. students), New Zealand’s effort to boost partnership Indian universities is understandable!