2012 Performance

Tertiary enrolments

Measured as equivalent full-time students (EFTS), enrolments in formal, provider-based tertiary study1 increased by half a percent in 2012. There was, however, a decrease of 2.8 percent in the number of students enrolled. This apparent discrepancy is explained by an increase in the proportion of students enrolling in higher-level qualifications, which have greater study loads.

An increase in the proportion of students enrolling in higher-level qualifications

Figure 3: Total student numbers, industry trainees and international students, 2009–12
Figure 3: Total student numbers, industry trainees and international students, 2009–12 Notes:
  1. The 2011 ITO results were the first to be produced using data from the Industry Training Register (ITR). Results from 2011 and 2012 are not strictly comparable to previous years. More information on the impact of the ITR can be found on the TEC website.
  2. FFTO data relates to trainees with a placement start date during the year. Individuals who enrolled in more than one programme will be counted in each programme.

The sector continued its efforts to attract international enrolments in 2012. However, full-fee-paying foreign EFTS decreased by 0.5 percent, or 147 EFTS, and student volume decreased by 2 percent (918 students).

Overall, 414,908 students, or 277,004 EFTS, were enrolled in formal qualifications at tertiary organisations in 2012, excluding Youth Guarantee students.

Of these, 237,369 EFTS were Student Achievement Component (SAC) enrolments, 10,547 were Foundation-Focused Training Opportunities (FFTO) funded placements and 29,088 EFTS were international full-fee-paying students. In 2012, the Youth Training programme merged with the Youth Guarantee programme, and EFTS were not calculated separately. A total of 8,901 students enrolled in the Youth Guarantee programme for the year.

In 2012, 130,679 trainees (42,824 Standard Training Measures) were engaged in industry-based training, including 14,886 in Modern Apprenticeships. From 2011, industry-based training results have been produced from the Industry Training Register (ITR) – based on a new data-collection system and reporting rules – and so are not strictly comparable to previous years. More information on the impact of the ITR can be found on the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) website.

Of those aged 15 years and over, 10.3 percent were engaged in formal provider-based education and 4.0 percent were engaged in industry training (see figure 4). For industry trainees, this accounted for 6.3 percent of the workforce. Overall, participation rates moved minimally in 2012. The most significant movement was in the proportion of formal provider-based students in the population, which decreased by 0.4 percent, reflecting the reduction in student enrolments during the year.

Figure 4: Proportion of students and industry trainees in the population and workforce, 2009–12
Figure 4: Proportion of students and industry trainees in the population and workforce, 2009–12 Notes:
  1. Population and workforce-based calculations use figures retrieved from Statistics New Zealand.
  2. The 2011 ITO results were the first to be produced using data from the Industry Training Register (ITR). Results from 2011 and 2012 are not strictly comparable to previous years. More information on the impact of the ITR can be found on the TEC website.

Domestic formal provider-based enrolments continued to shift towards degree-level courses and above. Since 2009, increases have occurred at New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) Levels 7–8 (up 5%) and Levels 9–10 (up 9%), coinciding with a decrease at Levels 1–2 (down 20%) (see figure 5). The increase in NZQF Levels 7–8 programmes was significant: in 2012 these courses comprised more EFTS than all other NZQF levels combined, highlighting that, in accordance with the Tertiary Education Strategy 2010–15, students and providers were focusing on higher-level tertiary education.

Figure 5: Participation by NZQF level, 2009–12
Figure 5: Participation by NZQF level, 2009–12

In 2012, the majority of enrolments were at Levels 7–8 (55%), followed by Levels 3–4 (22%) and Levels 5–6 (11%). By field of study, the largest proportion of enrolments was in Society and Culture (26%), followed by Management and Commerce (16%) and Health (11%) (see figure 6).

Figure 6: Enrolments by subject, 2011 and 2012
Figure 6: Enrolments by subject, 2011 and 2012

In line with previous years, 2012 enrolments consisted of 87 percent 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.

The enrolment mix across the ethnicities also showed little change for most groups. Enrolment increased in 2012 across all ethnic groups except for students identifying as Asian (down 7,884 EFTS or 22%) (see figure 7).

Figure 7: Enrolments by ethnicity 2009–12
Figure 7: Enrolments by ethnicity 2009–12 Note:
Total may exceed total EFTS or 100 percent as some students identify with more than one ethnicity.
1Formal, provider-based enrolments are students (excluding industry trainees) enrolled at a tertiary education organisation and undertaking study that contributes towards a qualification. All EFTS and student enrolments refer only to SAC funding unless otherwise stated.