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Export education package pure cosmetics

Tuesday 11 May 2004

Pansy Wong MP

Export education package pure cosmetics

Proposed changes to the export education sector are purely cosmetic and will do nothing to restore the damage that this Government has done, says National's Asian Relationships spokeswoman Pansy Wong.

She is commenting on a multimillion-dollar cash injection into the sector, announced today ahead of Education Minister Trevor Mallard's trip to China, Korea and South East Asia to lift New Zealand as a world-class study destination.

Mrs Wong says the cash injection and the trip are too late.

"It can't repair the damage caused by the Government's lack of action with rogue foreign students, and monitoring of educational institutions.

"The Minister, on his last trip to China only eight months ago, assured officials the Government was taking a number of steps to improve our export education sector.

"However, that trip didn't improve our reputation.

Mrs Wong says evidence of that can be found on an official Chinese website 'Monitor of Overseas Education Information' where New Zealand appears under a warning.

The Chinese website, www.jsj.edu.cn, says '...Right now there are many problems concerning Chinese students in New Zealand such as: tensions between students and schools or home stays, traffic accidents, fighting, some have been drawn to sexual pursuits, gambling, drugs, triads, fraud, kidnapping and murder...'.

Mrs Wong says to bolster New Zealand's reputation the Minister needs to deal with the problem. He needs to ensure educational institutes are properly accredited and monitored; require overseas students to drive with a New Zealand licence, and remove students whose visa's have expired and have no valid reason to be here.

ENDS

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