When New Zealand Prime Minister John Key visited India last week and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi, apart from discussing trade ties and possibility of Free Trade Agreement, the one sector where the two state heads agreed to collaborate on was education.
For the last few years, New Zealand has been focusing a lot on students from China and India, which are the world’s two most populated countries. The number of Indian international students going to the pacific nation has gone up by two-and-a-half times in the last five years.
From 11,791 odd in 2010, the number rose to 29,235 by 2015, says the statistics of Education New Zealand, the government agency of New Zealand. The biggest gain came in 2015 when the jump was 45 per cent compared to the previous year.
Grant McPherson, Chief Executive, Education New Zealand, who was part of the John Key delegation told DNA, “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 surprising mainly because New Zealand wasn’t the first choice of study destination for most Indian students till a few years back. Countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia have been usually on the top of their wish list. McPherson gives credit to quality education and liberal outlook of the country for attracting increasing number of Indian students.
“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,” says McPherson.
University of Auckland is among the top 100 universities as per QS world ranking, and some other varsities are in top 200. Besides, there are over 250 private educational institutions licensed to enroll international students, and most of them in Auckland. In 2015, out of the 29,200, nearly 21,000 students attended private institutions which offer comparatively cheaper education. According to overseas education experts, US and UK’s loss is also adding up to NZ’s gain.
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