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International student numbers top 125,000

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/07/2016

<span style="font-size:13px;">International student numbers topped 125,000 last year and tuition fee income was more than $1 billion for the first time, Steven Joyce says.</span> © Getty Images International student numbers topped 125,000 last year and tuition fee income was more than $1 billion for the first time, Steven Joyce says. The international education industry grew 13 per cent last year with more than 125,000 students enrolled, the government says.

That was an increase of nearly 15,000 and Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says tuition fee income topped $1 billion for the first time.

Auckland had 63 per cent of enrolments, Canterbury 8.4 per cent and Wellington 5.9 per cent.

The fastest growing markets in 2015 were the Philippines with an 83 per cent increase, India with 45 per cent and China with 13 per cent.

Mr Joyce attributes the increases to New Zealand being recognised for the excellent education and study experiences it delivers.

"While most of this growth has been good for New Zealand, it is important to ensure that all student recruitment in fast-growing markets like India is done within the rules and regulations," he said.

"The new code of practice that came into force last Friday makes it clear that all New Zealand tertiary providers are responsible for the activities of their agents."

Mr Joyce said last week some Indian agents "have not behaved well" and the providers using them had not taken responsibility.

In March this year RNZ reported a surge in the number of Indian students had been accompanied by thousands of false applications and problems with English language screening.

NZ First leader Winston Peters says big increases in the number of Indian students began after the government decided in 2013 to allow foreign students to work.

He says many of them have taken out big loans in their home country, with repayments depending on wages earned in New Zealand.

Mr Peters says they're likely to "go into hiding" rather than return home, because if they do they won't be able to make the repayments.

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