New Zealand universities are some of the most internationalised in the world, with all ranked in the top 3% worldwide .
As of 2022, there are 25,000 international students enrolled in New Zealand university programmes, of which 95% were studying at bachelor’s degree level or higher (41% in postgraduate qualifications) . New Zealand universities are committed to offering a high-quality education to high-calibre international students. This approach is paying off – 92% of New Zealand's international university students choose to study here because of the strong reputation of our universities .
International education generated at least $742 million a year for New Zealand in 2021, and universities’ earnings from export education represented 0.9% of all New Zealand’s exports of goods and services .
New Zealand universities are committed to advancing international education, with key drivers including internationalisation of the curriculum, student experience, and collaboration and cooperation in research and teaching. The universities have established successful connections with overseas universities, international research organisations and other institutions to drive international research collaboration and academic staff exchange, as well as student mobility programmes for both incoming and outgoing students.
- All New Zealand universities were placed in the QS World University Rankings 2024's top 500 . Three universities were in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2023's top 350, and all eight in the top 800 .
- Our universities rank in the world’s top 100 in 27 out of a possible 54 subjects . At least one New Zealand university appears in the top 50 for courses in:
Anatomy & Physiology
Civil & Structural Engineering
English Language & Literature
Library & Information Management
- According to International Barometer 2017 survey, 92% of New Zealand's international university students chose to study here because of the strong reputation of our universities .
- There were 25,000 international students studying in New Zealand universities as of 2022, which makes up around 14% of New Zealand's university students; this represents a drop from pre-pandemic levels where the share was just over 19% .
- In 2021, international education generated at least $742 million a year for New Zealand. Universities’ earnings from export education represented 0.9% of all New Zealand’s exports of goods and services .
- Top 10 share of international students enrolled in New Zealand universities by country of citizenship :
China – 59%
India – 5%
Vietnam – 4%
Malaysia – 4%
USA – 3%
South Korea – 2%
Indonesia – 2%
Sri Lanka – 1%
Iran – 1%
Singapore – 1%
- New Zealand universities attract high-calibre international students: 17% are studying at PhD level. Overall, approximately 43% are enrolled in postgraduate qualifications .
- Looking at graduates who finished their studies between 2009 and 2019, around 38% of all international students stay in New Zealand in their first year after graduation, with the majority benefiting from post-study visa and transitioning into full-time employment. Generally speaking, people completing higher qualification levels are much more likely to work in occupations with higher skill levels .
- Research suggests more than half early career academics (within seven years of their first permanent academic appointment) in New Zealand universities were born overseas .
 Education Counts, Tertiary participation – Provider-based enrolments: Domestic and international students by qualification type/NZQF level and sub-sector. Ministry of Education, 2022 data (updated April 2023).
 International Barometer Survey 2017: University sector summary report. Available from Education New Zealand's IntelliLab (login required).
 “Broader benefits of international education for New Zealanders – Valuation Report”. Ernst & Young, 2022.
 "Economic impact of universities: Updated contribution to growth”. New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, 2023.
 Education Counts, Tertiary participation – Provider-based enrolments: : International students by country of citizenship and sub-sector. Ministry of Education, 2022 data (updated April 2023).
 “Success in Academia? The experiences of early career academics in New Zealand universities”, Sutherland, K et al, 2013. Ako Aotearoa National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence/Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington.