International students to receive more care in NZ

New Zealand’s Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has announced a new code of practice for education providers that will strengthen the care of international students in New Zealand.

“There are more than 100,000 international students who come to New Zealand each year,” explained Minister Joyce. “New Zealand was one of the first countries to adopt a code of practice in 2002. This new code will ensure we remain a world leader in the pastoral care of international students.”

He continued: “The international education sector has been growing strongly and is now our fifth-largest export sector. To sustain that growth, we must ensure that our international students receive a high-quality education and have a positive, well-supported experience while they are in our country.

The previous code was ground-breaking at the time, but following a review in 2013, the cabinet decided it was time to update the code arrangements. Amending legislation was passed in 2015, and this new code results from that legislation.

“The code outlines ten outcomes sought from education providers for the care and support of international students,” continued Joyce. “The New Zealand Qualifications Authority will administer the code and will impose sanctions against education providers who breach it.”

A new dispute resolution scheme that provides a faster and more effective forum for resolving contract and financial disagreements between students and providers has also been established. Both the code and the disputes resolution scheme come into force on 1st July 2016.

“International education contributes NZ$2.85 billion a year to our economy and provides more than 30,000 jobs for New Zealanders. But it is about so much more than just income for New Zealand,” explained the Minister. “

New Zealand’s future is about being well-connected to the world and especially the Asia-Pacific region. International education helps build strong linkages with our trading partners now and into the future. The study experience for Kiwi students is enriched by international students studying here, and when our international students go home they become life-long ambassadors for New Zealand.”

The new code and the dispute resolution scheme are part of the Education Amendment Act 2015 and follow extensive consultation across the sector.

Article by David Fuller