3000 More Student Places for People's Republic of China

  • John Delamare

New Zealand's export earnings could increase by $30 million a year as a result of 3,000 additional places being made available in the student quota for nationals from the People's Republic of China.

The Minister of Immigration, Hon Tuariki Delamere, announced today that the People's Republic of China Student Quota will be increased from the 1,000 places to 4,000 places each year. This increase of 3,000 places is expected to provide a net benefit of about $30 million in international student sales and benefit a wide range of education providers in secondary, tertiary and English language training institutions.

"China is an important emerging student market and there is significant demand for training places in New Zealand from nationals there," Mr Delamere said.

The Minister of Education, Hon Wyatt Creech, said that the potential for growth in the international student market from the People's Republic of China represented a tremendous opportunity for the education sector in New Zealand.

"A number of secondary and tertiary institutions are already benefiting from these high value students. One student in New Zealand for twelve months will spend approximately $20,000 in tuition fees and living expenses. That spending trebles over a three year degree course period. There is a real opportunity for institutions offering places for international students of English language training to benefit significantly from the increased student quota," Mr Creech said.

"The increase in the quota is also a real opportunity for students from the People's Republic of China to develop a pathway to residence by studying in New Zealand. The increase in quota numbers means that up to 3,000 more students will have the potential to come here and gain qualifications that are recognised for residence under the General Skills category. Students who do this will obtain an additional point towards residence, and will have the two-year work experience requirement waived," Mr Delamere said.

"By increasing the quota, New Zealand is looking for people who can enhance the value of the education market, are migrant prospects and can add real value to our international links with PRC. For example, we want secondary and tertiary students who can contribute to the New Zealand economy over a longer period of time than just their few years of study. We also want to encourage short-term English language students to study here who have sound employment prospects in their own country and are able to build strong links between New Zealand and the PRC.

"While we are increasing the quota to take advantage of increased demand, we are retaining a cap on numbers in order to manage potential risks such as overstaying and asylum seeking. We will be processing all applications carefully to ensure that applicants, particularly those applying for short-term courses, are genuine students, not opportunists trying to avoid the proper migrant processes," Mr Delamere said.

The increased quota will take effect from 1 November 1998.