More jobs, COVID-19 likely behind drop in student numbers
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 Zealandâ€™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.
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