Foreign student numbers dwindle in New Zealand

Although the University of Auckland’s 2021 annual report states that a record number of international students enrolled last year, less than 12,000 foreign students remain in New Zealand now. Moreover, study visas for half of these 11,800 students are also set to expire in 2022. 

Immigration data shows that before curbs were implemented for battling the Covid-19 pandemic, 52,000 international students resided in the country. 

In 2021, 5391 foreign students took admission to the University of Auckland. This number shows a steep uptick from 2020 and is only 63 short of the total number of foreign students who applied in 2019. 

If this were a normal year, one would find almost 86,000 people residing in New Zealand with valid study visas at any given time. The total count would be even greater than 100,000 over a year. 

Universities and schools are already clamoring for the border to be fully reopened. However, now unsure regarding the demand from foreign students, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says visa processing would not cope if this was done. 

As of now, the Government is allowing 5000 new students to apply for study visas from the middle of the year, but no other such documents will be approved until October.