International students set to return to NZ from end of July

Source: 1News

Eligible international students can resume studying in New Zealand from the end of July.

University student (file photo).

It comes as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Wednesday that New Zealand would fully reopen its border at 11.59pm on Sunday 31 July, two months ahead of schedule.

Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the return of international students marked the rebuilding of New Zealand’s education sector.

“New Zealand has a strong international education brand and is universally regarded as a place that students want to come to study.”

“It enriches us as well as connecting us to the world, and strengthens our reputation offshore.”

However, Hipkins said changes to the system would be made to ensure it was attracting genuine students, including:

  • Students in non-degree level courses will not get post-study work rights except where they are studying and then working in specified shortage and skilled occupations
  • For degree-level and other eligible international students the length of time they can work after their studies will mirror the time they study in New Zealand. Currently some students can work for up to three years after just 30 weeks’ study. Masters and PhD students will retain the right to work in New Zealand for up to three years after their studies
  • Students will also not be able to apply for a second post-study visa in New Zealand.

The Minister took aim at previous National policies on international students that he said prioritised “volume over value”.

He said their approach “became a backdoor to residency for lower-skilled and lower-paid migrant workers, who were then at risk of exploitation.”

More than 5000 international students have already been approved to enter the country in mid-July as part of previous border exemptions announced in March.