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New Zealand welcomes back international students

Education New Zealand (ENZ) says the decision to enable a small cohort of postgraduate students to enter the country is a signal of New Zealand’s strong, continued commitment to international education and international students.

The New Zealand Government today announced that a new border exception category will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies.

Grant McPherson, Chief Executive of ENZ, says international education is important to New Zealand and will play a vital role in its rebuild and recovery from COVID-19.

“New Zealand welcomes the contributions that international students make to our country. In turn, a New Zealand education globalises students’ thinking, gives them the skills to work across borders and cultures, and enables them to be part of ground-breaking international research. All of this will become even more important as the world recovers from global effects of COVID-19.”

Mr.McPherson says the decision is a sensible first step on the path to recovery.

“These students have made a commitment to New Zealand, and that’s something we want to honour. They are largely students who have had their postgraduate study or research disrupted by COVID-19 and cannot complete their study online due to the practical nature of their course.”

ENZ will work with tertiary providers as they identify and select eligible students, and continue to work with other New Zealand government agencies to ensure a safe and considered process is developed for these students to enter the country.

“We will also ensure that these students entering New Zealand receive a warm welcome and have the information and support they need to succeed. And we’ll continue to engage with students waiting to enter the country, as well as with education agents, foreign governments, and other education partners to ensure that New Zealand remains alive in the hearts and minds of those considering an international education.

“We look forward to further border exceptions, that will benefit as many education providers and international students as possible, as and when it is safe to do so.”

Further information

  • Education New Zealand is the Crown Agency responsible for international education and its benefits to New Zealand socially, culturally and economically.
  • New Zealand has a strong international reputation for providing a high-quality education and study experience for students. For example, all of New Zealand’s universities are ranked in the top 3% (500) in the world.