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CPIT increasing overseas students next year

CPIT increasing overseas students next year

Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology says it will continue to increase its number of overseas fee-paying students next year.

The polytech has 720 full time equivalent overseas students and they plan to lift the number by 100 to 820 next year.

More than 500 of their overseas students are in the English language programmes and the remainder are mostly in the commerce faculty.

Director International Margaret Pierson said the total number of overseas students was only about 12.5 percent of the total number of students at the polytech.

``We don’t have a cap on international numbers but I would imagine we wouldn’t expect to go above 15 percent of total students.

``This issue of limiting overseas students has arisen only because the growth has been so fast.

``Asian faces are visible around the campus and they do use the facilities more than Kiwi students because it is like a home away from home.

``It is easy for someone to look around and see numbers of international students but the percentage has to be kept in mind,’’ Ms Pierson said.

In an effort to make life easier for overseas students, the polytech will introduce a buddy scheme next year.

Overseas students will have a ``buddy’’ to help them through the early days of orientation.

Ms Pierson said the polytech was putting in other support services to help international students next year.

They will provide more learning advisers and counsellors and offer more self-study opportunity to improve their English language skills.

``We are happy to increase our number of international students but we will still be nowhere near the levels reached in some Auckland institutions,’’ Ms Pierson said. The stream of overseas students to New Zealand needed to be planned and Ms Pierson said she agreed with the Post Primary Teachers Association concerns about unplanned growth.

``We support a planned approach to accepting international students. They add a cultural diversity to our community and our campus.’’

The polytech has a counsellor on campus who offers the students as much information as they need to ensure their social lives outside the polytechnic day are safe.

The PPTA wants the level of fee-paying students to be capped at 5 per cent at every secondary school.

The polytech has 5500 full time equivalent students.

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