We will now review your submissions alongside the existing Export Education Levy Regulations. We will provide an update, on this page, and via emails to submitters in October.
The Export Education Levy (EEL) is collected from international education providers. It helps fund a broad range of activities and projects relating to the export education industry, including promotion and marketing, quality assurance, and reimbursements for international students caught out by programme and provider closures.
The EEL rates are currently set at 0.50% of international student tuition fees for universities, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics, and private schools, and 0.89% of international student tuition fees for Private Training Establishments.
The impact of COVID-19 on current and prospective international students throughout the world, and the impact of required border measures has reduced the size of the international education sector. As international students who arrived before the border measures complete their programmes and leave education, our enrolment numbers are falling.
With very few new international students in 2020 and 2021, there will be a long-term impact on the sector as much smaller cohorts move through the system, and 2023 is likely to be the lowest point for international student numbers. Even once international students are able to return to New Zealand, in greater numbers the sector will likely take considerable time to rebuild, due to the typically long and now COVID-19 affected recruitment pipeline.
The Education and Training Act 2020 suspended the EEL payment obligation for international education providers for all enrolments for the 2020 and 2021 calendar years. Payments are due to resume in May 2022, for enrolments from 1 January 2022.
The EEL payment obligation was suspended for the 2020 and 2021 calendar years in recognition of the significant and unprecedented financial hardship being faced by the international education sector. Although the sector has had time to adjust and reduce costs, we believe that finances will be under even more pressure in 2022.
We see the benefits of suspending the EEL as supporting providers to rebuild (in line with the aims of the Recovery Plan), by enabling them to redirect these funds to best support their business and students.
While expected student numbers for 2022 are uncertain, we expect the sector could have around 20,000 international students, compared to 125,000 students when the Government released the International Education Strategy in 2018. Low student number limit the revenue potential of the levy if it is collected in 2022.
The suspension can be implemented through amending the Export Education Levy Regulations.
The case for continuing the activities traditionally funded by the EEL will be looked at as part of standard Budget processes in 2022.
Consultation closed on 22 September 2021.