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Australian policy change ruffles feathers

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 1/05/2017

Prime Minister Bill English is "pretty unhappy" about a proposed Australian government policy change that will see New Zealand citizens living there paying full university fees.

At present, most New Zealand citizens are treated like domestic students.

However, they could be given access to student loans which have been off limits for most expatriates, NZME reports.

The authority said students who held a current visa for Linguis would be able to complete their studies. © Supplied The authority said students who held a current visa for Linguis would be able to complete their studies.

The proposed changes are part of a major overhaul of tertiary education announced on Monday night by Education Minister Simon Birmingham, and appears to have caught the government by surprise.

"We're pretty unhappy about it," Mr English told reporters on Tuesday.

"We want a serious discussion with them about where they're headed with this policy, rather than announcements that are made either without telling us or at short notice."

Mr English says the new foreign minister, Gerry Brownlee, will be "conveying our unhappiness about it" when he visits Australia next week for talks with his counterpart Julie Bishop.

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