WELLINGTON, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government is hoping the country's universities will attract more foreign master 's students after shortening the qualifying period for the degree.
Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce announced Monday that degree-awarding institutions would be able to provide 180-credit master's degrees from next year.
"The introduction of the new master's degree will allow students to complete the necessary credits typically between 12 to 18 months instead of in two years," Joyce said in a statement.
"It will also be attractive to students from overseas, which is important as we look to double the economic contribution of international education to New Zealand to 5 billion NZ dollars (4. 23 billion U.S. dollars) by 2025," he said.
"At the moment, 11,000 domestic students and 2,000 international students are enrolled in master's degrees in New Zealand universities and polytechnics and the change we are making will allow our post-graduate sector to grow."
The changes were consistent with international best practice and aligned with Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada.
The new master's degree was also likely to be popular with graduates looking to enhance their knowledge and skills while working and those that wanted to return to university full-time for a year rather than two.
"New Zealand's education system is highly regarded and the new master's degree is designed to better meet the needs of all students, as well as institutions, while still providing the same quality education," said Joyce.