New Zealand Contemplating Options to Welcome Back International Students

Universities in New Zealand are mulling over sending chartered flights to help international students enter the country. Also, the Australian Chamber of Commerce has suggested a trans-Tasman bubble allowing Australians and New Zealanders to move freely between the two countries.

The Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University of Wellington, Grant Guilford, remarked that institutions were considering using charter flights to bring students safely to the city and working with all the appropriate health and immigration authorities to define the quarantine process required to bring students into Wellington safely.

Things are being planned in a meticulous manner so as to ensure that students not only have access to accommodation during the compulsory quarantine periods, but also are subject to public health requirements, to effectively manage Covid-19 risks.

It is likely that the joint proposal from Australian Chamber Tourism, Canberra Airport, Wellington Chamber of Commerce, Canberra Business Chamber and Auckland Business Chamber, could begin with a “symbolic pilot flight” as soon as July. John Hart, the Australian Chamber Tourism chair stated that the move would encourage the extension of the aviation networks to other destinations across Australia and New Zealand over time.”

As per the previous estimation by New Zealand initiative chief economist, Eric Crampton, around $1.5 billion is set to be made if borders are opened to overseas students over six months.

Regional universities in Australia have also suggested using charter flights to bring international students to campuses.

A digital campaign to support and connect international students in the country has been started by Education New Zealand recently. In fact, NZ$ 1 million has been allocated by the New Zealand government towards an international student hardship fund. This will help those international students who are genuinely facing financial hardship. They can receive up to NZ$ 1,000 from their education providers for living costs or resources such as food parcels.

Considering the fact that New Zealand is already highly regarded by international students as a premium education destination, its present handling of the outbreak will make it an even more attractive place for international students.

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