Some International Students Allowed to Enter New Zealand
Some international students will be allowed to enter New Zealand, after staying out of the country for almost a full academic year, the Minister of Education has announced.
Chris Hipkins said 250 PhD and postgraduate students will be allowed to enter New Zealand, with the first likely to arrive in November this year.
“The exception today is a balanced decision that recognises the vital role international education will play in the recovery and rebuild of New Zealand and the need to continue the fight against the pandemic,” Hipkins said.
14-day quarantine upon arrival
Priority will be given to students who need to be in the country for the practical components of their research.
All students entering New Zealand would have to follow Covid-19 restrictions, including 14-day quarantine upon arrival, which the students would pay for. Their arrival also depended on availability of space in managed isolation facilities.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the government’s top priority," Hipkins said.
No need for job cuts at institutions
The Tertiary Education Union welcomed the move, president Sandra Grey said.
“Our institutions now have a clear signal that international students will be coming back, that means they can more confidently ride out the current dip in revenue using their significant reserves. There is no need for job cuts.”
But she said the border closure had shown the international education system in New Zealand was broken, and highlighted wider problems with funding for institutions.
A good first step
The return of 250 students would have little positive impact on the Covid-19-related financial difficulties experienced by universities, but the exemption was a good first step towards reopening the borders to students, said Grant Guilford is the chairman of the International Committee for Universities New Zealand.
Universities may have to absorb some of the financial burden of putting the students through quarantine, he added.