The sector continued its focus on international enrolments, with full fee-paying foreign EFTS increasing by five percent in 2011.
Overall, there were 437,699 students or 286,965 EFTS enrolled in formal qualifications at tertiary organisations in 2011. Of these, 236,170 EFTS were Student Achievement Component (SAC) enrolments, 2,608 were Youth Guarantee EFTS, 9,477 were Youth Training placements, 9,476 were Foundation-Focused Training Opportunities (FFTO) placements, and 29,235 EFTS were international full fee-paying students.
In 2011 there were also 140,056 trainees, comprising 45,074 standard training measures (STM), engaged in industry-based training, including 14,282 Modern Apprenticeships. The 2011 industry-training results are the first produced from the Industry Training Register (ITR) – based on a new data-collection system and reporting rules – and are not strictly comparable to previous years. More information on the impact of the ITR can be found on the TEC website.
The proportion of New Zealand’s population in tertiary education and training decreased in 2011. The change is due to fewer enrolments in lower-level qualifications, plus higher unemployment creating fewer opportunities for industry training.
Domestic formal provider-based enrolments continued to shift towards degree-level courses and above. Since 2008 there have been increases at New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) Levels 7–8 (up 12%) and Levels 9–10 (up 17%), coinciding with a decrease at Levels 1–2 (down 17%). The increase in NZQF Levels 7–8 programmes is significant: these courses now comprise more EFTS than all other NZQF levels combined, highlighting that in accordance with the Tertiary Education Strategy (TES) students and providers together are focussing on higher-level tertiary education.
In 2011 the majority of EFTS were at Levels 7–8 (54%), followed by Levels 3–4 (22%) and Levels 5–6 (11%). The largest proportion of enrolments was in the Society and Culture (26%) field of study, followed by Management and Commerce (17%) and Health (10%). Most subject areas followed the general pattern of fewer enrolments compared with the previous year, though enrolments in health studies increased.
59 percent of enrolments were at degree-level and above qualifications
About 87 percent of all enrolments were intramural (students physically present in scheduled teaching sessions) and 13 percent extramural (where students are not required to regularly attend courses on campus), including students living overseas. In 2011 there was a one percentage point drop in the share of students studying extramurally compared with 2010.
Enrolment fell in 2011 among most ethnic groups, though the share accounted for by each group remained fairly steady in 2011.