Australia is once again on its way to double-digit growth in international student numbers for 2019, with 720,150 students enrolled across various sectors as of September 2019, an 11% increase over the same time the previous year. This growth reconfirms Australia’s position as the second-most popular destination in the world for study abroad, after only the US.
Foreign student numbers in Australia grew by 11.4% in 2018 and 12.6% in 2017, so this will be the third year of major increases in the international student population.
Responsible for most of the growth are the higher education and vocational (VET) sectors, contributing 12% and 17% year-over-year increases, respectively. ELICOS (English-language training) increased marginally (3% growth) and there were small decreases registered for schools (-4%) and non-award programmes (-4%).
Five countries compose more than half of all international student enrolments in the country:
China (28% of the total)
India (15% of the total)
Nepal (7% of the total)
Brazil (4% of the total)
Vietnam (3.5% of the total)
However, the flow of Chinese students into Australia is slowing, with a modest 5% increase in numbers from September 2018 to September 2019. By contrast, India contributed 33% more students and Nepal 31% more. Vietnamese numbers increased by 7%, and Brazil by just 4%.
Other significant changes were decreases for Malaysia (-7.5%) and South Korea (-3.2%) and a dramatic increase from Colombia, which sent 21% students in 2019.
Notable changes by sector
Looking at sector values comparing August 2019 to August 2018 in higher education, it was India and Nepal that boosted overall numbers (up 31% and 24%, respectively). Malaysian student numbers were down by just over 7%, falling to 12,815. China was up by 4%.
VET providers have seen many more Indian (up 45%) and Nepalese (up 64%) students this year. The Chinese market for Australian VET grew by 11.5% and the Korean market is down 6.5% so far in 2019.
Colombia was the only reason that ELICOS didn’t see negative growth in August 2019 compared with August 2018: Colombian student numbers increased by 19.5% to 12,195 and Colombians displaced Brazilians as the second largest international student group for the sector. Meanwhile, Chinese enrolments in ELICOS fell by 9.5% and Brazil sent 10.5% fewer students.
Australian schools saw 11% fewer Chinese students enrolled in August 2019 than in August 2018, which will have a particular impact since Chinese are especially overrepresented in this sector (47.5% of the total). The second-most important market, Vietnam (16.5% of the total) sent 22% more students.
The levelling off of Chinese numbers will be a troubling trend for many Australian universities, language institutes, and schools which have become highly reliant on this market for revenues. A paper by University of Sydney sociologist Salvatore Babones published last year, The China Student Boom and the Risks It Poses to Australian Universities, raised the alarm about this reliance. The paper argued that seven universities (University of Melbourne, Australian National University (ANU), University of Sydney, University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), University of Adelaide, and University of Queensland), had higher proportions of international and Chinese students than any university in the entire United States.” Dr Babones continued, “Indeed, all seven appear to be more dependent on fee-paying Chinese students than just about any other university in the English-speaking world.”
Several other markets other than India and Nepal are currently sending upwards of 20,000 students to Australia each year: Vietnam, Brazil, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, and Colombia (with Indonesia very close to 20,000 as well). These are the countries that will be important recruiting markets going forward. Of these markets, however, only Colombia and to a lesser extent Vietnam and Indonesia had sent substantially more students in September 2019 than in September 2018. It was Nepal and India that really drove the 11% total increase registered at mid-year.
In August 2019, first-time student visas from India to New Zealand universities showed an increase of 63%. Since 2017, the number of student visas from India went up from 800 to 1600. In addition to this, India is among the top four countries along with China, Japan, Korea, from where most foreign students go to study in New Zealand.
Grant McPherson, chief executive, Education New Zealand (ENZ), says, “Last year, we launched a new proposition that aims at adopting newer ways to enhance the New Zealand education system.
With this new perspective, our agenda is to improve the cultural diversity in classrooms, groom students to be future-ready, and equip them with industry skills such as problem-solving, creative, teamwork and leadership. This can be achieved from the influx of foreign aspirants so that students can exchange varied ideas as well as participate in peer learning.”
Boon of Excellence Awards
New Zealand houses eight universities/institutes that offer around 40 programmes. When it comes to Indian students, courses of Management, Finance and Engineering are the most sought-after.
However, says John Laxon, regional director – Asia, ENZ, multidisciplinary programmes in areas such as Robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), Environmental Sciences, Humanities and Cultural Society, have begun to gain prominence as well.
ENZ recently opened the registrations for a new round of the New Zealand Excellence Awards, which will offer 32 scholarships to Indian aspirants for pursuing various bachelor’s and master’s courses. As many as 30 PG scholarships worth NZ$5,000 each and two UG ones worth NZ$10,000 each will be awarded to eligible candidates. These scholarships are worth a total of Rs 8.2 million.
These awards, adds Laxon, are a medium to promote enrollments of Indian candidates in areas other than STEM, Management and Finance.
Since starting in 2016, 100 Indian students have benefitted from the Excellence Awards to pursue master’s courses in New Zealand. This encouraged ENZ to declare the scheme for bachelor’s courses as well, and in April 2019, 18 UG scholarships were offered to Indian students.
Need for post-study work opportunity
In July 2018, the New Zealand government announced that foreign students can stay in the country for up to three years to find work post their studies.
McPherson says that New Zealand varsities highly value the level of improvement and variety that international students bring to the former’s curriculum. “Hence, our aim is to help them contribute to the research ecosystem and industry culture of both New Zealand and their home country. While most foreign students especially the ones from China return to find a job in their homeland, several others stay back for better future prospects. We are focussed on providing these students with an opportunity to excel and also drive sustainable academic growth to New Zealand.”
Studying in New Zealand as an Indian
Joanna Kempkers, New Zealand high commissioner to India, says, “Education is the fourth most driver of the economy in New Zealand and 4% of the country’s population consists of Indians. Besides, Hindi is the fourth most commonly spoken languages in the country. Therefore, Indian students will get a piece of home even in New Zealand.”
In May 2019, ENZ launched NauMai NZ – an online platform for international students comprising information on the healthcare and wellbeing services, accommodation, culture and lifestyle, etc. in New Zealand. This is aimed at helping foreign students familiarise with a new place.
“Our education system is student-centric; hence we aim to develop a safe environment for international aspirants and render them a high-quality experience of studying in New Zealand,” adds McPherson.
To attract more Indian students, New Zealand has taken several steps such as introducing a three-year, post-study work visa for international students, its envoy Joanna Kempkers said today.
The New Zealand High Commissioner to India said her country attracts about 20,000 Indian students every year.
“We are trying to get more Indian students in New Zealand universities. New Zealand has eight universities and there are also government-supported institutions,” she told PTI on the sidelines of ‘New Zealand – India Academic Conclave’ here.
Kempkers also said that New Zealand focuses on more quality education that thousands of students are pursuing in the country.
Asked about the steps being taken to encourage Indian students to study in New Zealand, Kempkers said that the government has just announced new three-year open post-study work visa for all international students studying undergraduate degrees, masters degrees, and Ph.D. study.
Also, New Zealand is the second most peaceful country in the world, she said.
According to a statement, the academic conclave builds upon a range of initiatives that are pushing New Zealand to the fore as the preferred international education destination for students, with a 15 percent increase in Indian students choosing to study in New Zealand universities.
At the conclave, New Zealand’s Regional Director of Education (South, South East Asia and Middle East) said, “We are delighted that Indian students are future-proofing their careers by choosing to study in New Zealand, particularly given the recent introduction of a three-year open post-study work visa for bachelor’s, masters and Ph.D. degree international students…”
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also participated in the conclave, sought collaborations with international academics to understand the dynamics of higher education and know about what needs to be done.
You need to have all the information about New Zealand if you are planning study there. Besides having the knowledge of the universities, campus, and other things, the knowledge of the country and its people will increase you comfort level and also get you prepared about what all you can expect. You can get this knowledge on the internet, but a better source would be an advisor or consultant who helps students to get there and also get them enrolled in one of the best universities. Let us get to know few important facts about New Zealand along with its education system.
1. Keeping the Universities in focus
When you decide to study in New Zealand consider top universities and get details about the courses, fees and other facilities there. Learning environment in top universities is unique and education imparted is high quality. The committee is bent on building the education system on strong values, that are practical.
2. Economic stability taken into view
There are people who say that since New Zealand is located in a small corner of the world it seems secluded, but this is not true. You will find that people here are warm and inviting to international students. This can be a boon because this has contributed to the stability of the economy. Also since government here is stable and cost of living is reasonable, the place is suitable for overseas education.
3. Skill shortage here works beneficial
By getting in touch with the right consultant, you will get to know that New Zealand has a lot of long term shortage in skills, and this can also open up a lot of opportunities for you in the market. You will find there is skill shortage in Engineering, which includes Chemical, Transport, Agriculture Geotechnical and in many more sectors.
4. Affordable cost of education
When you plan to study abroad, the cost is one among the many considerations, which hold great importance. You will find that the top universities in New Zealand can cost much less as compared to other places around the globe.
5. Looking for scholarships
If you seem to have made up your mind to opt for scholarships, you need to know about them. Applying for the same, you need to be particular about the deadlines and other formalities, and it is best to take the help of advisors and consultants. Some New Zealand scholarships you can apply for are:
- New Zealand Development Scholarships (NZDS)
- New Zealand ASEAN Scholar Awards
- New Zealand Pacific Scholarships
- New Zealand International Doctoral Scholarships
- UC International First Year Scholarships
- ADB Scholarships at University of Auckland
- University of Otago International Research Masters Scholarships
- Victoria Masters Scholarships
- University of Waikato Excellence Scholarships for Asia Programme
6. Requirements for studying in New Zealand
Any overseas student coming here to study needs to meet certain requirements. You need a student visa and permit, which can also be extended provided you follow the rules and meet the requirements.
7. Accommodations available are comfortable
Most often the accommodation is only a few minutes from your place of study. This fact also becomes easy with the right consultant as most of them will help in getting the suitable accommodation to their students.
8. Travel and medical insurance is a necessity
There is no way you are entitled to free medical benefits when you are studying in New Zealand. You will need to pay the total cost of your treatment, for which reason you need to make sure your medical and travel insurance is in order.
Australia and New Zealand may be on the other side of the world, but they’re some of the globe’s most popular study abroad destinations. Australia, in fact, is the sixth-most-popular study abroad location for American students. Whether it’s the shared language, the stunning scenery or the locals’ reputation as some of the world’s nicest people, these two countries are both incredibly appealing places to spend a semester or two.
But how to decide? Both places have tons of benefits and great study abroad options, so it may seem impossible to choose just one. Still, there are some major factors to consider, including the climate, culture, different types of programs, expenses, your feelings about rugby, and, most importantly, those accents.
Population, Climate and Location
Nestled next to each other in the Oceania corner of the world, these two island nations are not exactly conveniently located if you’re coming from – well, pretty much anywhere else. Still, their isolation from other continents is part of their appeal – both countries boast unique flora and fauna that can’t be found in any other part of the world. With so much natural beauty, adventure sports for adrenaline junkies and friendly locals, you won’t ever want to leave – which is good, because the nearest countries are still hundreds or even thousands of miles away!
Australia, the world’s sixth-largest country, is the big brother in terms of both population and land mass. The nation has almost 23 million residents – a big increase from the island’s initial Aboriginal population and a few thousand British prisoners – and a whopping 89 percent of them live in the coastal urban areas. In fact, more than half of Australia’s population (14 million, to be exact) lives in the country’s five largest cities.
The famous Outback, which takes up most of the center of the island, is still largely wild, unpopulated territory – pretty, for sure, but probably not where you’ll be doing most of your studies. Home to the Great Barrier Reef (one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world), Ayers Rock, pristine beaches and everyone’s favorite marsupials, Australia has an abundance of natural riches. With this kind of scenery, it’s no wonder the locals are so cheerful. Covered by broad swaths of desert and receiving the second-lowest rainfall of all seven continents (after Antarctica), Australia is mostly hot and dry, with a tropical northern coast and a more temperate climate in the southeast near Sydney. If you’re heading to Australia, make sure to pack your sunscreen.
Comparatively tiny New Zealand – or Aotearoa, as it’s known in the Maori language – is divided between two main islands, creatively named the North and South Islands, and a group of much smaller outlying islands. As one of the world’s youngest and still-changing land masses, New Zealand’s volatile ground has created what might be the globe’s most spectacular land of contrasts. From the soaring peaks of the Southern Alps to the black sand beaches of Muriwai, the stunning fjords of Te Anau National Park to the ski slopes of Queenstown, there’s no reason to spend any more time inside than absolutely necessary.
Just like the topography, the climate of New Zealand varies wildly from one location to another, from the semi-arid Central Otago vineyard plains to the snowcapped peaks of the South Island’s mountains. The islands have mostly cool, temperate weather with plenty of rainfall, but the weather can change unpredictably – the local wisdom is that the only dependable weather prediction is the opposite of whatever the meteorologist on TV says.
With just 4.4 million residents in the whole country, New Zealand actually is, as the joke goes, home to far more sheep than people (about a 7:1 sheep:human ratio, to be exact). Almost 75 percent of those people live on the North Island, with about a third concentrated in the Auckland metropolitan area, so there are plenty of places where you can actually see the stars.
Cost of Living in Australia vs New Zealand
The conventional wisdom about Australia has always been that it’s expensive, and unfortunately this is one stereotype that’s based in fact. Living on an island is, by definition, rarely cheap, since anything you might want that doesn’t grow there has to be imported. Fear not though, study abroad students! There is budget fun to be had down under.
Mercer’s cost of living rankings from 2012 had Sydney at #11, just barely missing the cut to join the illustrious club of the world’s top 10 most expensive cities. Melbourne was close behind at 15, Perth was 19th, and capital Canberra, Brisbane and Adelaide followed right behind at 23, 24 and 27, respectively. A more recent study put both Sydney and Melbourne in the world’s top five, with Sydney ranked third.
At the current exchange rate, the Australian dollar is about equal to the US dollar, but prices are far from equivalent. Some goods retail for similar prices to those found overseas, but food in particular can be extremely expensive. A six-pack of beer sells for around $15, while a pint out at a bar will run you about $10 – prices that could even give pause to a New Yorker. The University of Technology Sydney recommends that international students prepare for life in the city by arriving with somewhere between A$14,786 and A$25,680 for a full year there. In fact, as of July 2012, international students headed to Australia must demonstrate that they have at least A$18,610 if they intend to spend a year studying in the country. If your heart is set on Australia, you should start saving your pennies (and hundred dollar bills) now.
In comparison, studying abroad in New Zealand is certainly a affordable option, with the highest-ranked city, Auckland, clocking in at #56. The only other city to land in the top 200 was the capital of Wellington, at a respectable 74. They’re still not cheap cities, compared to other regions of the world, but next to their neighbor, they’re positively a bargain.
Right now, USD $1 will get you NZD$1.2 – not a huge difference, but that .2 adds up eventually. A pint of beer at a bar should cost about $3.75 and an average movie ticket will be about $8.50. You can get a basic meal at a restaurant for between $6.75- $12.50, while two miles in a taxi will cost about $7.50. These prices still aren’t dirt-cheap, but they’re probably more equivalent to what you’re used to paying in cities at home.
“Between Australia and New Zealand, I would say NZ all the way. New Zealand has somewhat of a “frontier” feel to it; people look out for each other and there is a sense that we’re all in this together. If you’re looking to go to a place where you can have an adventure, meet some great people, and not spend as much as you would in Europe, New Zealand is the place for you.” – Sarah Timmings, former NZ student
Universities and Programs in Australia versus New Zealand
If you choose to study abroad in Australia, you’re almost certainly going to be in one of the major cities. Sydney has the widest range of different programs and universities, including Macquarie University and the University of Sydney, generally considered one of the top schools in the country. Programs offer studies in fields from botany to linguistics, and many include cultural activities and excursions to places like the Great Barrier Reef, the Outback, or even other countries like New Zealand or Thailand. Programs in other cities like Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth all have their own benefits like access to world-class arts programs and research, proximity to natural attractions like the Gold Coast and koala sanctuaries, and one-of-a-kind study opportunities like marine biology or conservation work.
With only a handful of cities, study abroad programs in New Zealand are concentrated almost entirely in Auckland and Wellington, with a few scattered in smaller cities like Dunedin and Christchurch. Most Auckland programs are affiliated with the highly regarded University of Auckland (the country’s top school), and they offer students the chance to study everything from political science to Hebrew. In Dunedin, you can study at the University of Otago, New Zealand’s first university, or head to Victoria University in the cultural hub of Wellington. Some programs also provide opportunities for internships with local businesses or organizations- considering the country’s relatively small workforce, these are a great way to get more involved with the culture and issues you care about!
Culture and Life Down Under
As one of the world’s most urbanized countries, Australia’s cities are the place to be. Cosmopolitan Sydney boasts world-famous architecture, top restaurants, excellent museums and theater and one of the globe’s best aquariums. We’ve heard there’s a famous building there, too. Smaller cities like culturally rich Melbourne and the more industrial western coastal city of Perth don’t have the same international draw, but still have plenty to keep you busy for a semester (constant beach access, anyone?).
Australia is an interesting mix of Western Anglo and Aborigine influences, with the country trying to find a balance between the two very different backgrounds of its population. Known for wine production, tall movie stars and attractive Olympic swimmers, Australia is a relaxed nation of friendly, fun-loving people who are just as happy to toss a Frisbee around with you as to give you directions or share a beer (or three).
Like any siblings, New Zealand and Australia have a long-running, mostly-friendly rivalry, based primarily on making jokes about the other nationality’s romantic preferences for sheep and peculiar accent patterns. The competition only really heats up around important rugby matches, so just be aware which country you’re in before you say anything flattering about the other nation.
Even more so than Australia, New Zealand is all about the outdoors and thrill-seaking: every region has its own distinct features, activities and awe-inspiring scenery. It seems like everyone in the country has a part-time job at an outdoor adventure company, at least two pair of hiking boots and a tent ready to go at a moment’s notice. With one of the lowest median incomes in the developed world, New Zealand residents (or Kiwis, as they’re better known) are used to making the best of what they have – and for most of them, this means spending as much time as possible enjoying the natural beauty of their surroundings. Cities like Auckland, Wellington and still-recovering Christchurch have plenty to offer in the way of restaurants, art and nightlife, but the main draw of the country will always be its non-manmade features.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of New Zealand is its renewed emphasis on recognizing and celebrating the culture of the Maori people – the islands’ original residents. Currently, almost 15 percent of the population identifies as Maori, with an even higher percentage among younger groups. Over the last few decades, there has been a large-scale effort to preserve the Maori culture and incorporate it into all aspects of Kiwi life.
Many signs across the country are printed in both English and Maori, and people will often refer to locations by their Maori names. The language is taught in schools across the country – if you have time to study it, it’s a fascinating and important piece of New Zealand’s heritage.
The culture is relaxed and casual – it’s not uncommon to see people walking around the streets of urban Auckland with no shoes. There are even offices that allow their employees to go shoeless – however shirts, as far as we know, are still required. Rugby is king here, so brush up on your knowledge of tries and scrums before you venture out in an All Blacks (the beloved national team) jersey. Kiwis are very conscious about their international image – as a foreigner, everyone in the country will interrogate you about your experience there, and even one tiny criticism is enough to cause concern. Luckily, there’s very little to criticize about this gorgeous, friendly nation.
Travel as much as you can within Australia. It can be expensive and time-consuming, because Australia’s such a big country. But I saved beforehand, and it was so worth it – I saw country houses, the beach, the outback, mountains, the Great Ocean Road, the beautiful big cities of Sydney and Melbourne, the Sydney Opera House…there are so many different landscapes to see and experiences to be had in one country! – Megan Sugrue, former OZ student
Wanna read the fine print? Here are some conclusions: you should choose to study abroad in Australia if you want to live in a vibrant, active city, can “keep up” with the partying locals, and prefer hot, dry weather and beaches. It also helps if you’ve always wanted to see a kangaroo in person and don’t mind breaking the piggy bank to do it!
On the flip side, you should head to New Zealand if you want to be in the middle of nature, are okay with eating lamb three times a week and don’t mind changing weather (and lots of rain!). If you’ve often wondered if you are a hobbit or not (shoes are overrated) and think jumping off of a bridge sounds GREAT, New Zealand will be the perfect fit! Students in New Zealand often rave about the fantastic time they had studying abroad there.
Both New Zealand and Australia have tons to offer study abroad students. There are differences in price, weather, location and free-time activities, but both countries are high-demand destinations for a reason. Most people who study abroad in either of these countries return home already planning their next visit back. By all means, go, but be prepared to fall in love with whichever country you ultimately choose.