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Lessons not learnt after Chinese student fiasco

Wednesday 17 May 2006

Turner: Lessons not learnt after Chinese student fiasco

United Future education spokesperson, Judy Turner, has expressed concern over New Zealand's inability to meet the needs of new international students, insisting that lessons should have been learnt from the recent Chinese student fiasco.

In a move to offset the recent rise and fall of the China market, the Minister of Economic Development has recently returned from a trip to India to woo thousands of Indian students to New Zealand schools, polytechnics and universities.

"These institutions are no more ready to cope with an influx of Indian students than they were five years ago for the influx of Chinese students," argues Mrs Turner.

"Their teachers are not trained in the Indian style of learning, and their support staff are not trained in the pastoral and behavioural needs of Indian students."

Of particular concern for Mrs Turner is the lack of assurance that Indian secondary students will have appropriate caregivers and support once in New Zealand. "Will we see headlines in Indian papers of the neglect of Indian students as we have in the Chinese papers?"

The number of Chinese students in New Zealand fell from 40 700 in 2003/04 to just 34 100 in the past year.

"Where are the programs and investment in ensuring the safety and academic success of the first generation of Indian students, so that there will be a second and a third?" Mrs Turner asks.


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