Tertiary Institutions in New Zealand Fear Another Year Without International Students

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Tertiary institutions in New Zealand are worried that they may face another year without new international students due to the pause in visa processing.

Currently, New Zealand accounts for 19,191 international students who pay full fees, Erudera reports.

However, according to Radio New Zealand (ZNL), it is still unclear how many students will arrive next year, even though the borders will open for foreigners by the end of April, as there is a hold on processing temporary visas until August.

According to the same, the president of Independent Tertiary Education, Craig Musson, said that some of the members could have a third consecutive year without any international students.

“There are students that will come for the second half of the year in some markets and in some programs, but there may be some providers that miss out again for the whole year, and that will be really a difficult point in time for them,” Musson said.

Additionally, he said that institutions that fully rely on international students were in a desperate situation as they still don’t have any certainty.

In regards to the current situation, ZNL disclosed that the immigration and education agent Arunima Dhingra said that there was a lot of confusion about when the borders would reopen to students and what measures would apply to them.

According to data, apart from the border and visa issue, New Zealand’s government is reorienting the sector, so there is more priority on high-quality courses rather than on work and residence rights.

Therefore, Dhingra suggested that the government needs to come up with a decision as soon as possible as other competing countries in the sector, such as Australia, the US, Canada, and the UK, already have pathways for international students.

Concerning the matter, ZNL further reports that the chief executive of Waikato Institute of Technology, David Christiansen, was more positive.

Christiansen said that limiting work and residence rights would decrease the number of international students while emphasizing that there will be regrowth and demand, even though it might take some time.

The same hopes that Immigration New Zealand processes visas at least for some groups of foreign students before the set date.

A total of 1,000 international students will be able to return to New Zealand by 2022. The Ministry previously announced that the further border class exception for international tertiary students had been approved for 400 pilot trainees, 300 students at degree level and above, as well as 300 students at the sub-degree level.

New Zealand has registered a drop of 62 percent in the number of international students. There are more than 19,000 international students in New Zealand at the moment.

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