At midnight on April 12 local time, the New Zealand government has further relaxed border controls and allowed qualified foreigners holding work visas and student visas to enter New Zealand without isolation. At the same time, New Zealand has fully opened its borders to Australian passport holders, allowing them unrestricted access to New Zealand.
This is the third step of the border reopening plan announced by the New Zealand government on March 16. In addition, from 11:59 pm on May 1, New Zealand will open its borders to tourists from visa free regions / countries and tourists from other countries with valid tourist visas.
Temporary work and student visa holders who still meet their visa requirements — this includes people currently outside New Zealand and those who leave and want to return.
Up to 5000 international students to study in semester 2
Australian citizens and permanent residents.
It should be noted that the visa holder is required to show evidence that he still meets the visa conditions upon arrival in New Zealand. For example, the holders of student visa need the evidence that students are studying, or will resume studying the same course at the same education provider that the student visa was granted for; and holding any funds required for maintenance in New Zealand.
If the circumstances have changed since granted the visa or the people no longer meet the conditions of the visa, they may not be able to travel to New Zealand. If this is the case people will need to apply for, and be granted a new visa.
In March 28, Oakland University issued a notice on its official account to answer questions about the entry quota of New Zealand and international students. It is mentioned that the University of Auckland has more than 4000 students studying abroad, and the university is currently allocated 375 places for inbound students. For these inbound students, Auckland University will give priority to international students who are unable to make progress in their studies or are at a disadvantage due to staying abroad; Students who have studied abroad for a long time. According to the nomination procedure of the Ministry of education, Auckland University has begun to contact 375 students. This process will take several weeks. The school hopes to get in touch with most students before April 13.
According to RNZ, the number of international students studying in New Zealand has been less than 12000 according to the data of Immigration New Zealand, which is a sharp drop from nearly 52000 when the pandemic began two years ago.
Immigration New Zealand said half of the 11800 international students still in New Zealand will have their study visas expire this year. The government has allowed 5000 international students to enter the country since April 12, but will not approve other study visas until October.
Universities and schools want the border to be fully opened as soon as possible, but Education Minister Chris hipkins said he was unable to deal with visa processing.
According to RNZ, New Zealand schools, universities and other higher education institutions are expecting cut backs to face the reduction in enrollment caused by the continuous decline in the number of foreign students.
Auckland, AUT, Waikato, Massey, Victoria and Canterbury universities reported that both domestic and foreign student enrolments had fallen compared to the same time last year.
AUT vice-chancellor Derek McCormack said in 2020 foreign enrolments held up better than expected and in 2021 domestic enrolments had jumped, but this year was not looking good. “This year we’ve got a crunch on both and that will put quite a lot of pressure on finances, and at our university we’re just going through a process at the moment with the enrolments having settled looking at where are the potential savings we can make without doing too much damage to our ongoing capability and staffing numbers,” McCormack said.
McCormack said the strong employment market and the threat posed by Omicron were the main reasons for weakening domestic enrolment.
Neil Quigley, vice president of Waikato University, said that this year will be “the most challenging year of the pandemic” due to the continuous decline of the number of international students and the decline of domestic enrollment rate to a certain extent.
”This is going to be the toughest for us because our international students are hopefully at the low point in the numbers. With the prospect of the border being reopened later in the year we hope we’ll start to see some recovery in international numbers but of course international student numbers have tailed off as existing students have graduated,” he said.
Tertiary Education Union president Tina Smith said it had been told domestic enrolments were down about 10 percent across universities and polytechnics. Institutions made cuts in 2020, often through voluntary redundancies, and she did not want to see any more this year.
Smith said staff were struggling with the Omicron surge and the government should help tertiary institutions get through.
On April 12, 5000 international students were allowed to study in New Zealand, but there are just 1450 places were allocated to universities and 700 places were allocated to polytechnics. This is much less than the school’s enrollment in normal years.
International students used to be worth $5 billion a year to the economy, but enrolments have plummeted since the start of the pandemic in 2020.