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900,000 New Zealanders to study in 2018

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source New Zealand, October – December 2017, sample = 1,634 New Zealanders aged 14+.
Over a fifth of New Zealanders of all ages (23.1%), or 900,000, intend to study or do a course in the next 12 months and over half, 460,000, are aged 25 and over according to the latest research conducted by Roy Morgan in the December quarter 2017.

It won’t surprise anyone that the majority of young New Zealanders are intending to study – 59.7% of 14-24 year olds (440,000 New Zealanders) intend to study or do a course in the next 12 months. However, this new research shows significant proportions of older age groups are intent on furthering their education including nearly a third, 290,000, who are aged 35 and over.

Just over a quarter of 25-34 year olds (170,000 New Zealanders) and nearly a fifth of 35-49 year olds (160,000) intend to study or do a course in the next 12 months.

In addition there are 130,000 New Zealanders aged 50 and over intending to study or do a course in the next 12 months comprising 8.3% of the New Zealand population of that age group and matching the rate of their neighbours in Australia. Further information on the breakdown of Australian results is available to view here.


% of New Zealanders intending to study by age

Roy Morgan Intention to Study - By Age in New Zealand - December Quarter 2017

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source New Zealand, October – December 2017, sample = 1,634 New Zealanders aged 14+.


More employed New Zealanders intend to study than those not working

Nearly three-fifths (59.6%) of New Zealanders intending to study or do a course in the next 12 months are employed, 536,000 New Zealanders and clearly higher than the proportion of employed Australians (52.2%). Put another way 32.8% of part-time workers and 15.6% of full-time workers intend to study in the next 12 months.

A further 364,000 New Zealanders, or 40.4%, who are not employed  intend to study comprising of 204,000 students not currently employed, 33,000 New Zealanders looking for part-time work and a further 24,000 New Zealanders looking for full-time work, 34,000 New Zealanders doing home duties, 14,000 retired New Zealanders and a further 55,000 New Zealanders who don’t work and aren’t looking for work.


% of New Zealanders intending to study by employment status

Intention to Study - By Employment Status in New Zealand - December Quarter 2017

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source New Zealand, October – December 2017, sample = 1,634 New Zealanders aged 14+.


Helix Personas Communities reveal who intends to study

Roy Morgan’s research shows 900,000 New Zealanders intend to study or do a course in the next 12 months and it’s important to understand exactly who and where these intending students are and Roy Morgan Helix Personas can provide the answers.


Roy Morgan Helix Personas – Click through to learn more.

Roy Morgan Helix Personas New Zealand

Helix Personas is a unique and powerful consumer segmentation and data integration tool that combines sophisticated psychographic and behavioural data to classify the New Zealand population into 56 Personas and seven communities. Helix Personas uses a combination of Roy Morgan Single Source data and third party data sources.

This information is used to understand future buying intentions and media consumption patterns that those looking to target potential students for education opportunities can tap into. These are easily integrated with third party datasets.


Intending to Study by Helix Personas Communities

Roy Morgan Intention to Study - By Helix Personas in New Zealand - December 2017

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source New Zealand, October – December 2017, sample = 1,634 New Zealanders aged 14+.

Nearly a third of Today’s Families, 30.3%, and Metrotechs, 28.9%, intend to study or do a course in the next 12 months. The two leading communities represent more affluent, younger New Zealanders whether single or with young families, and living in the inner city and surrounding suburbs puts both communities close to places of learning.

One community which differs significantly from it’s Australian counterpart is the New Zealand Battlers community of which only 15% intend to study compared to 27.1% in Australia. Battlers are ethnically diverse young families battling to make ends meet which clearly pushes studying down the priority list.

Interestingly only 10.1% of Kiwi Achievers, the community closest to the ‘average’ New Zealander, intend to study in the next 12 months. Achievers are working hard to pay off their expensive housing and similarly to their equivalents in Australia are the community least likely to be planning on studying.


Michele Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan, says 900,000 New Zealanders intending to study are a huge market to tap on top of the substantial income derived from international students:

Education is big business as New Zealand’s fifth biggest export earner worth $NZD 3.8 billion in 2016[1] behind only milk-related goods, travel and tourism, meat and lumber.

“As well as the huge earnings made providing education related services to international students today’s research reveals 900,000 New Zealanders of all ages are intending to study – and the majority of 51% are aged 25 and over.

“As well as being older than many would realise, nearly 60% of potential students, or 536,000 New Zealanders, are employed working either full-time or part-time while a further 364,000 intending to study include those looking for jobs, students not currently employed, those on home duties, retired New Zealanders and New Zealanders not working and not looking for work.

“Geo-psychographic analysis shows nearly one-in-three Today’s Families and Metrotechs, the predominantly younger singles and families living in the inner city and surrounding suburbs, intend to study and their location gives them good proximity to universities and colleges.

“In contrast it is Battlers more concerned with keeping their heads above water and Kiwi Achievers – outer suburban families working full-time to pay off their mortgages that are least likely to be considering studying in the near future.”

To learn more about Roy Morgan’s education and study related research contact


[1]NZ Trade & Enterprise: Exports – Top commodities. https://www.nzte.govt.nz/investment-and-funding/investment-statistics.