“New Zealand is in demand and is now fully open to business,” Jacinda Ardern said on May 11. “New Zealand’s international border will be open to all tourists and visa holders two months earlier than planned on July 31.”
The new package will make it possible to “significantly simplify immigration processes”, extend visas and introduce a new “green list” of difficult positions aimed at attracting and retaining highly skilled workers to fill skills gaps in areas such as health, engineers, trade and technology.
“From the end of July, all international students who meet the usual admission criteria can enroll here”
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the recovery would allow the international education sector to begin a sustainable recovery.
“More than 5,000 international students have already received confirmation of entry under previous border exceptions, which means they can be here until mid-July. From the end of July, all international students who meet the normal admission criteria can enroll here, ”said Chris Hipkins.
New Zealand universities have called for this The limit is 5,000 students be extended in time for the second semester in July and August. The organization said it was “delighted” with the new statement.
The government has also made policy changes to ensure that the country continues to attract what it calls “true students”.
Those enrolled in courses that do not have a degree will no longer be eligible for post-graduate work unless they fill a certain gap and qualified professions. The government also limits the duration of post-training work to reflect the duration of their training.
This means that students who have studied 30 weeks in the country in other fields will no longer be eligible to work for up to three years in New Zealand. Masters and graduate students will remain eligible to work in the country for up to three years after studying, the government said.
Students will also not be able to apply for a second visa after studying in New Zealand.
“The future will be different,” Hipkins said. “We will not return to the nationwide approach that became the gateway to housing for low-skilled and low-paid migrant workers, who were then at risk of exploitation.”
“We will not return to the national approach to volume over value, which has become a backdoor for living”
The changes will aim to attract students to New Zealand for study, as well as “closing the way to residency,” he said.
The postponement of the phased recovery from October to July 31 adds “much-needed confidence to our current and future international students,” according to Universities of New Zealand – Te Pōkai Tara CEO Chris Whelan.
«[The students have faced] anxious and tense two years that have found themselves outside the country due to border restrictions.
“Now they can be sure, if it allows a New Zealand immigrant visa, that they will be in New Zealand and at the chosen university in time for the start of the 2023 academic year, and in some cases to study later in 2022.”
The organization, which represents the country’s eight universities, has long sought earlier border opening, he added.
Whelan also acknowledged that the government had listened to the sector by setting “updated funds needed by international students at $ 20,000 a year, not higher, which would be difficult for students”.
On May 12, he expects more information on the updated international educational strategy.
“It was gratifying to hear today that Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the government is looking to go out into the world to sell New Zealand an international education and an attractive offer. We look forward to more information on this and a broader update of the international educational strategy, ”Whelan added.
The move will mean that international students will move from online learning to personal learning, said Ainsley Moore, director of the international office at University of Aucklandsaid. This is a problem that the institution is “more than happy to accept,” she continued.
About 3,500 international students at the University of Auckland are currently studying offshore and will be able to apply for a student visa from 31 July.
“International students bring diversity and richness to our campuses, and play a significant role in research and the workforce outside the university. They are making a real contribution to our community on campus and to our city, and we are excited to be back, ”Moore said.
New Zealand universities noted that New Zealand became the fourth largest export market in the country, contributing about $ 5.1 billion to economic activity before Covid.
“Our main competitors, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, reopened to international students last year,” Whelan said. In 2021, the number of students at international universities unexpectedly was 72% of the levels before Covid, but this year they are about 30%, the organization noted.
“Universities are excited and ready to take our international students back”
“But New Zealand and our universities are attractive to international students. All universities are in the top 500 with more than 18,000 universities worldwide, and we know that New Zealand is so hospitable, inclusive and safe with a stunning natural environment is an important factor in the decision-making of our international students. ”
“New Zealand has a strong international educational brand and is widely considered a place where students want to come to study. It enriches us, connects us with the world and strengthens our reputation offshore, ”Chris Hipkins said.
“Universities are excited and fully ready to welcome our international students back,” Whelan concluded.
“We lacked the liveliness and diversity they add to our communities, both on campus and off-campus. We look forward to seeing again the blending of perspectives and improved learning experiences that come when you bring people from different cultures and backgrounds together. ”