22 Apr 2010

International student spending forecast to reach $3b

5:47 pm on 22 April 2010

Education New Zealand says annual spending by foreign students is on track to exceed $3 billion by the end of next year.

Government figures issued on Thursday show international student numbers rose by 6% last year.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says there were 93,505 fee-paying international students in New Zealand and further growth is expected this year.

Education New Zealand says spending by international students provides an estimated $2.3 billion in foreign exchange each year.

Chief executive Robert Stevens says the industry wants to increase its income by 10% each year for three years and it is on track to achieve that target.

The figures show 60% of last year's international students came from Asia, with Europe and the Middle East increasing in importance.