Semblance of normalcy as international students return

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Grant McPherson, Chief Executive, Education New Zealand

Recent government announcements have provided some welcome clarity about the return of international students to New Zealand.

The past couple of years have undoubtedly been tough. Despite this, we have worked together to provide additional support for current students, diversify programmes and services, strengthen relationships, build social licence, and maintain a presence in our key markets.

Our immediate focus now is on making the best possible use of key steps in the government’s five-step plan to progressively reopen the borders: (1) Fourth cohort of up to 5000 international students as a border exception (Step 3), with visa processing from mid-April in time for students to start their studies here in July (2) Up to three months for visitors to come from visa-waiver countries (Step 4) by July (3) Visa applications open for all international students by October, in time for students to arrive at the start of the 2023 year.

Allocation to sectors

Government decisions have now been made on the composition of the fourth cohort of students. Student numbers will be allocated across the sector, based on the proportion of international students who were attending each type of education provider pre-Covid in 2019:

University 1450; Te Pūkenga 700; School (Year 9 and above) 1000; PTE 850; English Language School 1000.

Students must meet the same living cost requirements as the previous cohort, namely funds of $15,000 for school students and $20,000 for other students.

Over the coming weeks, we will work closely with peak bodies, education providers and the Ministry of Education, to finalise the allocation of these places to individual providers. In this respect, we have been able to set up an online system that should streamline the application process, and you will hear more about this soon.

Overreaching goals

At the same time, we are continuing to work towards the overarching goals set out in the International Education Strategy: (a) Delivering an excellent education and student experience

Achieving sustainable growth (b) Developing global citizens.

In this month’s E-News, you can read about our participation at the Dubai Expo, as well as two key upcoming events in Oman and Saudi Arabia related to tertiary education: Global Higher Education Exhibition Oman from 27 to 29 March 2022, and the International Conference & Exhibition for Education in Riyadh from 8 to 11 May 2022.

Grant McPherson is Chief Executive of Education New Zealand based in Wellington. The above appeared on the ENZ website.

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