New Zealand now less competitive for foreign university students
Aug 17: New Zealand's exchange rate has pushed the cost of studying at this country's
universities up to the same level as Australia and higher than Canada.
A study by Deloitte, prepared for an international education conference in
Christchurch last week, has found New Zealand secondary schools are still
cheaper than schools in the other four traditional English-speaking
Doctorates have also become far cheaper in this country since a policy change
in 2005 which allows overseas doctoral students to pay the same fees as domestic
students if they are supervised by leading researchers - a move designed to lift
New Zealand research.
The number of overseas doctoral students has jumped by 56 per cent as a
result, from 693 in 2005 to 1084 last year.
Average student living costs also remain lower in New Zealand, at just under
US$9000 ($13,000) a year, compared with just over US$11,000 a year in Australia
and Canada, US$12,400 in the United States and US$20,000 in Britain. This means
that the total cost of living and studying in New Zealand is still the lowest of
the five countries for bachelor's degrees in arts and business.
But tuition fees alone are now lower in Australia for engineering and
medicine, and lower in Canada in all five main faculties.
Even allowing for New Zealand's lower cost of living, the total cost of
living and studying is now lower in Australia for medical students and lower in
Canada for first degrees in medicine, science and engineering.
Sarah Li, 24, the manager of New Zealand's largest Chinese-language website,
Skykiwi.com, said New Zealand tuition fees were now too expensive for the eight
to 12 hours of tuition that fulltime students get each week.
"If the dollar is not much different, why not go to America?" she asked.
On a recent visit to Australia, she found living costs were lower in
Brisbane, although higher in Sydney and Melbourne, which were the cities used in
the Deloitte study.
"Although I felt Australians were not as friendly as New Zealanders, I found
my friends there have much more choice," she said.
"They have more universities than New Zealand and are treated nicer by
tutors, and the tuition fees are lower."
Deloitte confirms that New Zealand's international education sector has lost
ground against the other four countries in its study since the New Zealand
dollar started rising above US42c in early 2002. The study was done when the
dollar was at US72c.
The number of international students here peaked at 127,000 in 2002 and
dropped to 93,000 last year. Numbers from China plunged from 66,000 in 2003 to
32,000 last year.
In contrast, international student numbers in Australia have grown by 6 per
cent and 11 per cent in the past two years to 384,000 last year, including
continued growth from China, India and Korea.
Enrolments in Canada have been more erratic, with between 150,000 and 200,000
international students last year. Tertiary overseas students in Britain rose by
3.5 per cent last year to 330,000.
The New Zealend Herald
Name: Shabnam shaikh
City, Country: Pakistan