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Labour sends mixed messages to foreign students

Pansy Wong MP
National Party Associate Education Spokeswoman (International Education)
19 July 2006

Labour sends mixed messages to foreign students

The Government needs to explain the mixed messages it is sending to foreign fee-paying students, says National Party Associate Education spokeswoman, Pansy Wong.

“Labour has made a big deal out of pretending to want more overseas students to study here, yet Ministers are refusing to explain why they're slapping international students with visa fee increases of 70%, and new, over-the-top two-yearly medical check-ups as well as requiring compulsory health insurance.”

Mrs Wong says she is dumbfounded that neither the Minister of Immigration nor the Minister for Tertiary Education have shown any interest in concerns expressed by international students who are facing greatly increased cost and inconvenience.

“Neither Minister has answered my written questions about the medical check-ups, and the Labour Government has denied leave for me to table one of the postcards that Massey students are using in their campaign to highlight awareness about this issue.

“The Government’s disregard for international students is one of the many reasons why we have seen a massive downturn in the number of students choosing to study here.

“Not only do these students enrich our culture, they contribute financially to our schools and tertiary institutions.

“I am pursuing the Government’s lack of response through the Speaker’s office until I get a satisfactory answer for the concerned international students and the Massey University Students’ Association.”

Attachment: Massey student postcard


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