There has been a significant drop in the number of overseas students studying in Canterbury following the city's earthquakes.

The latest figures from the Ministry of Education show the number of international students studying in Christchurch dropped 37 per cent in 2011.

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said the results were not unexpected.

"The earthquakes in Canterbury have severely impacted (on) the number of people from overseas wishing to study in Christchurch."


Sixty-five foreign students were killed in last year's February 22 quake in the collapse of the six-storey Canterbury Television, which housed English language school King's Education.

Mr Joyce said Christchurch was normally the country's second largest centre for international education, and the Government was committed to bringing overseas students back.

"Education New Zealand, the lead government agency for international education, has been working closely with key stakeholders to help the Christchurch market recover, and I will be talking to the sector about those plans tomorrow," Mr Joyce said.

Despite a drop in Canterbury's numbers, the minister said international student numbers throughout the rest of the country had increased by 6 per cent, and income from tuition rose by 3 per cent.