The Government’s proposed tertiary reforms have gone much further than first thought, and could damage New Zealand’s international students, National’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.

“The international student market, worth $500 million, is at risk under the polytechnic reforms.

“A perfect storm is brewing around our international polytechnic market, including domestic uncertainty, branding uncertainty and delayed visa processing in Mumbai.

“International students are vital to polytechnics and the New Zealand economy. But in the Cabinet document outlining the reforms, which was leaked to National, barely three sentences were given to international students.

“The sector is very concerned that key parts of the international student journey, including that local recruitment may be taken by the new mega polytechnic head office.

“Even Education Minister Chris Hipkins was concerned when his officials urgently asked how the reforms were being received in the Chinese market.

“The sector and the market urgently needs clarity and stability, way beyond three sentences. The Minister needs to bite the bullet and lay out detailed plans.”

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