Chief executive of Education Directions Dave Guerin has published figures that show a dramatic decline in international student numbers at Canterbury tertiary institutions. He has compiled data from Immigration New Zealand and the Department of Labour, which show overall visa numbers for Canterbury for July this year are down 30 percent on last year.
Universities in the province have overall student visas decreasing 32 percent, with a big 20 percent drop at the start of the second semester in July. Polytechnics have fallen the least at 22 percent, but they had an 11percent drop in July.
“(Universities) had the second highest decline in visas under the figures above and they tend to be less flexible to changes in enrolments, given long-term capital plans and the long-term nature of academics’ work,” said Mr Guerin.
“If there really was a 30 percent decline in international students at the University of Canterbury, that would result in a cut of income of 2.4 percent based on the 2010 annual report (about $7m pa), which had 8 percent of total income coming from international students’ fees … That’s not as massive an income cut as we might have expected, but when combined with a likely domestic student drop in the single percentage figures, Canterbury could well face major changes.”