The Minister of Education announced that a group of 250 international postgraduate students will be allowed to enter New Zealand to resume their studies as a border exemption, subject to 14-day quarantine at an approved isolation facility at their own cost, beginning in November 2020.
Only PhD and Master students who hold or held a visa for 2020, and whose long-term commitment to study here was disrupted by COVID-19 will be included in this small group. Priority will be given first to those who need to be in the country for the practical components of their research and study, such as medicine, veterinary, engineering, laboratory sciences, agricultural research.
The reason to prioritise PhD and master students is they are deemed to “make a significant contribution to our research and innovation systems and boost the global reputations and competitiveness of our institutions” according to the minister.
Although other education providers including schools and private training establishments might be disappointed with this announcement as their students are not considered at this point, it is a small step in the right direction for the international education sector.
The Government will review other possible border exceptions, as and when it is safe to do so.