New Zealand reopened to international students on 1 August, and the universities in New Zealand are hoping for a rebound of international students as its borders fully reopen after two and a half years.
Many students currently studying remotely are willing to return for physical classes, said Jan Thomas, chairman of the group of Universities. The universities are working with Immigration New Zealand to process visa applications for international students.
She also added that the universities in New Zealand were ranked among the top 3 per cent in the world and the country is recognised as “friendly, inclusive and safe”.
“We are seeing steady numbers of new enrolments for the end of 2022 and early 2023 and expect these to increase as the year progresses,” she said
Thomas also mentioned that there is a “whole other strand” of international collaboration while pointing towards the re-signing that happened on 28 July. New Zealand’s eight universities and Peking University have a Memorandum of Understanding that will be beneficial once the border restriction is lifted. New Zealand’s Education Minister Chris Hipkins, attended the signing event in person to mark 15 years of the partnership.
Maintaining parallel connections between researchers and overseas partners has never been an easy task. “Now we look forward to them resuming and growing in ways not permitted by emails and Zoom meetings alone,” Thomas said.
Grant McPherson, chief executive of the government agency Education New Zealand, said “rebuilding the sector will not be quick or easy or without new challenges”. He also added that the sector had lost “good people” to the pandemic.
COVID-19 vaccination proof is still mandatory to travel to New Zealand.