New Zealand records a 20% increase in student visa applications for 2024

New Zealand has reported an approximately 20% surge in student visa applications in 2024. Notably, Immigration New Zealand revealed that this increase in the volume of applications has exceeded the levels observed in the pre-COVID-19 peak period of 2022 – 2023. 


A recent survey, which gathered insights from over 8,300 prospective international students from 124 countries, also sheds light on this trend. It revealed an impressive 86% increase in interest in New Zealand as a study destination over the past year, attesting to the country’s quality of education, abundant employment opportunities and relatively stable policies regarding international students.


While certain countries have implemented policy revisions, changes in financial requirements and adjusted post-graduation stay durations for international students, New Zealand has maintained its policies, further enhancing its attractiveness. With tuition fees ranging from NZD$20,000-25,000 per year and an opportunity for international students to stay up to 36 months after graduation, New Zealand offers a compelling value proposition for learners seeking a rewarding educational experience.


Moreover, the survey recorded that approximately 15.5% of respondents changed their intended study destination within the last 12 months, indicating a significant shift in preferences among learners. This was due to various factors such as the cost of education, employment opportunities and evolving policies regarding international students.


The switch in interest has translated into tangible increases in international student arrivals in New Zealand, with the number exceeding 59,000 last year, marking a more than 40% increase from the previous year. This influx not only revitalises New Zealand’s education sector but also contributes significantly to the country’s migration figures.


A 20% surge in student visa applications signals a promising trend for the industry’s recovery. “About 20 per cent increase so that’s really excellent, a good base and we have a good pipeline,” remarked Geoff Bilbrough, General Manager of Marketing and Communications at Education NZ. Despite challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, stakeholders in New Zealand’s education sector remain optimistic about the future, especially as universities also adopt a measured approach to rebuilding the industry.


As New Zealand positions itself as one of the leading study destinations, it offers international students academic excellence and lifestyle opportunities. With a commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive learning environment, the region stands poised to welcome learners from around the globe.

To stay updated on further industry insights and updates in New Zealand and other major study destinations, please visit our blog or contact our business development managers for more information. 

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