No effect seen on international student numbers

People gather on the University of Otago clocktower lawn for the OUSA Anzac Service in Dunedin....
The University of Otago. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The Christchurch mosque shootings earlier this year do not appear to have had any effect on the number of international students choosing to come to Dunedin, Enterprise Dunedin says.

Enterprise Dunedin Study Dunedin co-ordinator Margo Reid said the University of Otago had advised her this year that 3000 international students were expected to enrol, the largest cohort ever - making up 12.7% of the total student cohort. That number included international fee-paying students, PhD students and students enrolled in exchange programmes.

She said Dunedin was "still regarded as an attractive study destination to overseas students" and Study Dunedin did not have any evidence the mosque attacks in Christchurch on March 15 had any impact on the number of student coming to the city.

"Study Dunedin has a 'value over volume' focus, which seeks sustainable growth such as this in the sector."

The university voted at a council meeting on Tuesday to increase its international student fees for 2020 by 5% for the majority of courses.

A report to the council showed an increase in international fee-paying students starting at doctoral and postgraduate level since 2012, as well as an increase in students studying via the Study Abroad programme - who usually spend one semester at Otago and pay a fixed fee, regardless of the discipline they are enrolled in.

The most expensive programme for international students next year will be the full bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degrees, which will hit $462,474 for the full six-year courses, compared with $452,419 last year.

The majority of undergraduate arts courses will cost $26,365 for international students for a full year of study next year, while undergraduate health sciences will cost $34,398 for a full year.

A report included in the council meeting agenda showed only two equivalent-full-time doctoral students enrolled in 2016. That number increased dramatically last year, when 33 such doctoral students enrolled.

New international postgraduate fee-paying student enrolments nearly doubled from 56 in 2012 to 106 last year, and undergraduate numbers rose from 296 to 333.

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