Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ) welcomes the Minister’s announcement allowing border exceptions for up to 1,000 bachelors degree-level (or higher) international students to return to complete their study, saying it signals New Zealand’s commitment to international education.

This border exception follows and builds on the earlier announcement of an exception for 250 PhD and Master’s students, who are now confirming their visas before returning to New Zealand.

ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson says international education has wide-ranging benefits for New Zealand, and the careful managed return of small cohorts of students like these is part of the government’s Recovery Plan for International Education.

“Before the onset of COVID-19, international education was New Zealand’s fifth-largest export, contributing $5 billion to the economy and supporting around 45,000 jobs.

“New Zealand has been enriched by the diversity of perspectives that international students bring to our classrooms, lecture theatres and communities.”

Eligible students will be enrolled across a range of tertiary study providers including universities, polytechnics/ institutes of technology, wananga, and private training establishments and will be returning to New Zealand in phases to manage demand on MIQ facilities.

New Zealand study providers will identify and nominate eligible students who meet the criteria; students will not need to apply for places.

To be eligible students must hold or have held a valid visa to study in 2020 and have studied in New Zealand in 2019 or 2020 towards their current qualification and be returning to complete their study with their current provider.

“This announcement not only signals the Government’s commitment to the international education sector but to international students affected by the pandemic, too.

“We are very pleased to see the Government progress the safe return of international students to New Zealand.”

“This is a good next step, and we look forward to welcoming more students as soon as the time is right.”

All people entering New Zealand will follow all COVID-19 health and safety requirements, including a 14-day stay in managed isolation and quarantine facilities.