More jobs, COVID-19 likely behind drop in student numbers

Exhausting Zoom lectures, a booming job market and rising living costs could be pushing New Zealanders away from university this year, writes Ellen O’Dwyer for Stuff.

Fewer Kiwi students enrolled in most universities in trimester one, compared with a year earlier when there was a 10% spike across the entire tertiary education sector, possibly brought on by people returning to study during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Infometrics Principal Economist Brad Olsen said rising and falling student numbers reflected a dramatically changing labour market. New Zealand’s unemployment rate had increased to 5.3% in September 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and the biggest and fastest increase since the global financial crisis. That might have persuaded people it was safe to return to study in 2021, Olsen said.
Full report on the Stuff site