National Party Tertiary Education Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith is welcoming the Government’s apparent U-turn on their policy to gut the international education industry by massively reducing the number of foreign students coming into New Zealand.
“During the election campaign, Labour’s policy was clear – in order to reduce immigration they would reduce the number of international students by between 15,000 and 22,000 a year which represents about a quarter of incoming students,” Mr Goldsmith says.
“But Education Minister Chris Hipkins has been giving private assurances to the sector that they shouldn’t worry, he has no intention of carrying out that commitment anytime soon.
“And he is also reported today saying he is ‘not rushing to make changes’.
“The international education industry is worth $4.5 billion a year to the New Zealand economy. Labour’s proposed changes would have had a massive impact on the industry.
“This change of heart is welcome news but the Minister needs to state this publicly instead of hinting at it to worried industry players.
“He then needs to explain why his party cynically stoked anti-immigrant sentiment during the campaign with promises it never intended to keep.”