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Serving Everybody's Interests: GATS &NZ Education

Serving Everybody's Interests: GATS and New Zealand Education

Speech summary:

- Governments can choose the extent to which they commit to GATS.

- Much of the concern expressed about GATS by opponents in New Zealand is not that it will have an adverse impact on governments' ability to regulate or fund education, but that it could have such an effect.

- If a foreign provider helps to meet the skills and training outcomes of the country and the individual aspirations of New Zealand students by providing high quality education, why be concerned about it?

- All countries that are party to agreements such as GATS limit to some degree their ability to 'determine their own future' in exchange for the benefits that come from acting collectively.

- We need to move beyond the simplistic arguments that have been at the root of much of the opposition to GATS in New Zealand. We should instead be discussing serious issues such as the implications of internationalisation and cross-border education for quality assurance, accreditation and transferability and recognition of qualifications.

- The ulitmate success of GATS does not lie with officials, trade representatives, lawyers or policy wonks. It lies with the universities, English language schools, polytechnics, schools and private training establishments that provide high quality education and training to thousands of international students every day.

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