Students from India occupy the second largest foreign student chunk in New Zealand (NZ), according to information provided by government officials of NZ. Indians make for 12% of the overall overseas student population in NZ. India happens to be an important export market for NZ and its ties with India and other countries will determine its future economic progress, the officials added.
During the last decade, the number of Indian students pursuing education in NZ has increased by 700% (over 10,000 students). The first-time student visas which were issued to Indians to pursue their studies in NZ increased by a whopping 123% (or 4,195) from January to July this year. Overall student visas, which include first time visas as well as renewals, shot up by 83% (5,380) vis-a-vis the same period in 2013.
Altogether 11,984 Indian students were pursuing studies in NZ in 2013, which is a 12% representation of foreign students in that country. Around 38% chose Management or Commerce streams, which were the top choices. Next in line was Information Technology (IT) at 15%, followed by Engineering and Health at 10% each.
In a bid to attract more students from India, NZ institutes have been offering various incentives including Scholarships. The University of Waikato, based in Hamilton in NZ, has announced setting up of a NZ $1 million international scholarship fund for students from Asian countries who pursue their higher studies in NZ. Scholarships up to an amount of NZ$10,000 will be offered to students from 12 Asian countries including India. Moreover, the New Zealand-India Sports Scholarships is another recent addition.
In another development, more foreign students will be permitted to work while they simultaneously pursue their studies in NZ, as per Immigration New Zealand officials. This facility will enable students from India to earn while they learn and gather work experience which will prove to be highly beneficial when they complete their studies. Moreover, by working part time while studying, Indian students will be able to cover some of the living expenses of studying abroad.
According to the state-operated Education New Zealand (ENZ) department, various education fairs are expected to be conducted in Indian cities in the coming days, which will be participated by different institutes based in NZ. Such fairs will facilitate Indian students gaining admission in NZ institutes. Other initiatives include institute visits, digital campaigns, media programs, etc., which will create understanding among prospective students about the advantages of pursuing education in NZ. The country has also been working in tandem with quality agents to boost its popularity as a study destination.
India is the fastest developing source of overseas students in NZ. At present, students from India contribute over NZ $250 m to the economy of NZ.
Source: The Times of India