Young students seeking to study overseas are shunning New Zealand from their options amid the country’s high fees and cost of living, a study found.
Melbourne-based QS Enrolment Solutions, in a report released this month, said that it found only 25 percent of 77,000 students inquiring about New Zealand universities to be interested, whereas 50 percent are more into Australian universities.
It also found that most inquiries for studies in New Zealand are older, or those aged 24 and above.
AUT Students’ Association international officer Divya Kataria said that one of the factors was because New Zealand was charging undergraduates of full-cost fees amounting to $33,000 a year, but let doctoral students study at the same price as domestic students worth $7,000 annually.
“The two big factors are the fees and the cost of living in Auckland and the big Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne,” she said.
Students ignore New Zealand because of university reputations and rankings
Kataria, 22, studied in Lithuania before going to Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in New Zealand. She said most continental European countries charged overseas students only about €3000, or about NZ$6,000.
“I applied to [New Zealand] and Australian universities and chose AUT because of their reputation and their ranking,” she said.
“As international officer, most of the students I deal with are over 25. Some people are actually 30 or 35. They come for their second doctorate degrees or their second masters,” she added.
This was the first time QS Survey released a report not about Australia. Previously, the research firm was heavily weighted to Australian institutions.
It also noted that the respondents were not representatives of overseas students who actually transfer to New Zealand.
The sample who responded was not representative of overseas students who actually come to New Zealand. Although China is the top overseas student market for both Australia and New Zealand, responses from China were only third in the Australian sample and fifth in the NZ sample, perhaps because of the language barrier.
Instead, most responses for both countries came from India, followed by Nigeria, Pakistan, Ghana and China.
Universities New Zealand chief executive Chris Whelan said most inquiries from Nigeria, Pakistan and Ghana came to nothing.
“We get a ton of inquiries from Pakistan and Nigeria but none of those are going to get visas, it’s just so hard to get them cleared,” he said.
Photo: Dan Whitfield
Angelica is a reporter for Global Education Times with a focus on the ‘business of education’, and on Asia-Pacific and South American education affairs. An experienced journalist, Angelica also writes for the oldest English newspaper in the Philippines, The Manila Times, as the publication’s business correspondent.
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