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Government backs international education

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 12/06/2017

The government is backing the international education industry in the face of Labour's policy to cut student visas, and has come up with a new plan to help them study here.

"Our approach is to work with the industry to steadily improve outcomes, rather than threaten large parts of it," Tertiary Education Minister Paul Goldsmith said on Tuesday.

"It's our fourth largest export industry and provides jobs for more than 30,000 New Zealanders."

Labour's immigration policy, announced on Monday, would cut about 10,000 visas for students enrolled in "low value" courses and limit the ability of students to work while they're here.

Mr Goldsmith says he has a new strategy that will protect and enhance New Zealand's reputation as a safe and welcoming study destination.

It's based on what international students say makes the biggest difference to their experience in New Zealand.

"Access to accurate information is particularly important," Mr Goldsmith said.

"So Education New Zealand is building an online information hub. And in addition $750,000 a year is being made available for new initiatives that will strengthen international student wellbeing."

The draft strategy will be released for consultation later this month.

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