New Zealand poised to welcome international students back

  • International students can enrol to study in New Zealand from July 31
  • Minister to travel to USA, Chile and Brazil to promote studying here
  • International fee-paying students under Year 9 can continue to enrol in schools
  • New Zealand International Education Strategy being refreshed

New Zealand is fully reopening to international students and the Government is committed to help reinvigorate and strengthen the sector, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

“Our international education sector has done it tough for the last few years. Bringing forward our reopening to all international students shows this Government’s strong commitment to them, and to the rebuild of high-quality, world-class, New Zealand international education,” Chris Hipkins said.

“Prior to the pandemic, the sector was worth several billion dollars to our country and education providers. This early reopening will be seen as great news for our universities, our polytechnics and wānanga, as well as for our schools, English language schools, and for private training providers.”

Chris Hipkins announced today he will be travelling to the USA and South America from late May to early June to promote New Zealand as an international education destination. Further travel opportunities are being sought over the next six months to encourage international enrolments for 2023.  

“There are up to 5,000 places for students to come to New Zealand now, and from July 31, all international students who meet the entry criteria can enrol to study here. It’s time to show the world New Zealand is open for education – and we welcome students back,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The criteria for international student visas has been adjusted to ensure New Zealand is building on its strong international education brand. We are universally regarded as a place where students want to come to study, we offer world leading education products, a safe and friendly place to study, and have a great reputation for cultural diversity and inclusiveness.

“But we also want to ensure students are getting the most out of their study here and can move into meaningful work. The changes the Government announced yesterday will help ensure these students are getting value for their money and that those who stay on are helping fill skills gaps and contributing to the economy.”

The Government has confirmed today that international fee-paying students under Year 9 will be able to continue to enrol at New Zealand schools.

“This follows a recent consultation on enrolment of these students. In the end, we decided that the benefits for both domestic and international students under Year 9 are significant and we want them to continue,” Chris Hipkins said.

Consultation is also being launched tomorrow on the refresh of the New Zealand International Education Strategy 2022-2030.

“The refresh of the International Education Strategy is all about recognising that we are in a very different space to where we were in 2018 and as the borders reopen, we need to support international education to come back even stronger than before,” Chris Hipkins said.

“We want to work with the sector to build a new future, focused on the delivery of more high-value and innovative international education offerings for domestic and international students, on-shore, off-shore, in person and online.

“It also looks at how the benefits that international students bring could be shared more regionally throughout Aotearoa. This would allow more New Zealanders to benefit from the presence of these students than in the past.

“I look forward to hearing the sector’s views on the strategy, which will be open for consultation from 13 May to 24 June 2022,” Chris Hipkins said.