Since the start of the pandemic, New Zealand has been one of the few countries that have kept its borders closed for the longest period. However, this year, New Zealand is considering welcoming back international students to the different NZ Universities in small groups.
Recently, the University of Canterbury in Christchurch offered a warm welcome to international students. Out of the 1,000 international tertiary students, 34 students from UC returned under the New Zealand Government Exemption. The return of the 1,000 students is expected to bring in around $49 million for the sector.
In his statements, Chris Hipkins, the Education Minister of New Zealand highlighted that the students will be subject to the same quarantine measures that all other international arrivals are required to abide by.
The students will also be asked to support themselves even more while they continue their stay in New Zealand, as the minimum living expenses that international students need to meet to receive their visas have jumped up to $20,000 from $15,000.
Additionally, the New Zealand Government and the international education sector had been working together to bring back students “who have made the greatest commitment…” by remaining invested in their studies in New Zealand, regardless of the challenges faced because of the pandemic.
He also highlighted that the return of the international student cohort will not impact the return of the Kiwis and the skilled workers. Except for these categories of international travellers, including the limited number of international students, New Zealand is expected to keep its borders closed for all other air travellers. The International education sector in New Zealand is the fifth-largest export, being valued at $5 billion for the country.
Source: The PIE News