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International Students Raise Concerns

International Students Raise Concerns

The First National Conference for International Students was held at Lincoln University, Christchurch, during the weekend. International students raised concerns regarding recent unfair fee increases on existing students, restrictions on working hours and issues on Insurance and Welfare for international students.

The Code of Pastoral care for International Students was introduced in 2002 to protect International Student Rights. It was found that institutions do not promote the code among students, which leaves them uninformed on grievance procedures against unfair practices.

International students contribute more than fifty percent of the total fees at Waikato University. “Horrendous fee increases at Waikato Uni over the past few years are clearly a hidden cost as per the code. The Waikato Student Union will be proceeding with the complaint against the fees increase to the International Appeals Authority,” said Sandy Pushpamangalam, WSU President.

“The only solution to protect students against unfair fee hikes is by introducing the Grand Parenting scheme, so that students are not affected by fee increases once they are enrolled,” said Pushpamangalam. Grand Parenting is in place at the Auckland University of Technology and Massey University will be introducing it in 2005.

International students do not get adequate job opportunities to work in study related areas due to the current government restriction of 15 hours per week. Generally, quality employment requires students to work at least 20 hours a week. “The New Zealand Government needs to be consistent with Australia, Canada and UK where students can work 20 hours a week,” said Pushpamangalam.

NZUSA will be organising a National Week of Action to raise the awareness of International student concerns and to gather signatures for a petition on introducing Grand Parenting across all universities in New Zealand.

ENDS

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