Universities have today thanked government for listening to recommendations and introducing a new student visa to make New Zealand more competitive for retaining and attracting top international students.
The Pathway Student Visa will give international students a visa for their entire planned pathway of study. It will be valid for up to three consecutive programmes of study with selected primary, secondary and tertiary education providers, for up to five years.
Universities New Zealand Executive Director Chris Whelan says universities, along with other tertiary providers, have been working with Immigration New Zealand to reduce the barriers to attracting and retaining international students.
Chris Whelan says, “This is a good outcome for the education sector. It means, for example, a student who studies an English language course before embarking on their university study no longer needs to reapply for a visa before starting university. It will also help to retain international students by providing a pathway from secondary school into universities, or enable them to move between universities, or from bachelor to post graduate programmes. This will help to make us more competitive with other countries such as Australia who already has a similar pathway programme.”
International students currently make up 11% of the student population. They are our 5th largest export earner worth $2.85 million a year – with universities generating over $1billion of this each year.
“International students are also important to universities as they help globalise thinking. New Zealand students get the opportunity to study alongside students from different cultures, with different views and experiences. This experience and these connections are also invaluable as students take their place in the world.”
Source : Scoop NZ