International education policy of New Zealand

International education in New Zealand is being grown and shaped by several key policies.
The Government’s Economic Growth Agenda identifies international education as an area that can contribute more to New Zealand’s economic growth. Legislation was introduced into Parliament on 6 April 2011 to establish a new Crown agency for international education, Education New Zealand, to help in achieving this greater contribution. The agency began operations on 1 September 2011. It will enhance the marketing and promotion of New Zealand and New Zealand education providers, and carry out overseas representation.

The Ministry of Education will, however, retain a focus on international education, complementing that of Education New Zealand. The Ministry will take the lead on New Zealands education relationships with multilateral organisations, regulating education providers involved in export education and promoting better support of international students, working with Immigration New Zealand to ensure immigrating settings for interational students are optimal, and encouraging greater interationalisation of the curriculum across the education system.

It includes targets to:
  • increase annual revenues from providing education services offshore to at least $0.5 billion
  • develop and sustain mutually beneficial education relationships with key partner countries in Asia, the Pacific, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas
  • increase the number of international students enrolled in New Zealand providers offshore, from 3,000 to 10,000
  • double the number of international postgraduate students (particularly in programmes in addition to those at PhD level) from 10,000 to 20,000
  • increase the transition rate from study to residence for international university students
  • increase New Zealanders’ skills and knowledge to operate effectively across cultures.

To find out more about the International Education Agenda please visit:

To read the Ministry’s Statement of Intent 2011-2016, please visit:

The Ministry of Education Statement of Intent 2011/12-2016/17 includes as a key priority, ensuring that “Every young person has the skills and qualifications to contribute to New Zealand’s future.” Within the international education, the Ministry will “provide policy advice on how to improve the international knowledge and skills of New Zealand students”.

To find out more about the Code of Practice, please visit:

The Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students provides a framework for minimum standards, good practice procedures and a complaints procedure in relation to the hosting of international students in New Zealand schools and tertiary institutions. All providers enrolling international students must comply with the Code. 

International education statistics on Education Counts

The Ministry of Education holds various collections of statistical information relating to international education, obtained through Ministry of Education processes, including information relating to:
  • students’ international learning
  • international students in New Zealand
  • the internationalisation of New Zealand education providers
  • the benefits of international education to New Zealand.
Access our International Education statistics index to find the latest International Education statistics.

Go to our main statistics page and search a range of other statistics.

International education publications on Education Counts

The Ministry undertakes and commissions a variety of international education research, to inform policy and practice in the internationalisation of the New Zealand education system.

Access our International Education publications index to find the latest international education research.

Go to our main publications page and search for a range of education publications or use our publications search engine.

Other New Zealand government sites of interest

Te Kete Ipurangi is New Zealand’s bilingual education portal. An initiative of the Ministry of Education, it provides New Zealand schools and students a wealth of information, resources and curriculum materials to enhance teaching and learning, raise student achievement and advance professional development for teaching staff and school managers.

New Zealand Qualifications Authority is a Crown entity, responsible for quality assurance in the New Zealand education system, including its framework of qualifications.

Tertiary Education Commission is a Crown entity, responsible for funding the tertiary education system in New Zealand.

Statistics New Zealand is a government department and New Zealand’s national statistical office. It is the country’s major source of official statistics.

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