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Turner: international students need special care

Monday, 30 October 2006

Turner: international students need special care

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner today called on the Government to invest more and better resources in the pastoral care of international students who come to New Zealand.

"I am concerned that recent news reports of hundreds of Saudi Arabian and Turkish post-graduate students coming here focus almost entirely on the economic benefits to New Zealand of educating these people," she said.

"But care of these students outside the lecture room is just as important, if New Zealand is to get and maintain an international reputation for world-class education.

"The cultural shock for a Saudi student will be immense in moving from the closed theocracy of Saudi Arabia to the open, pluralistic society of New Zealand.

"Public controversy in Europe and Australia over issues such as what clothing women should wear show that the potential for public strife is very close and it would be foolish of New Zealand to pretend such rows won't occur here.

"We shouldn't be so dazzled by the education dollars international students represent, that we ignore the personal and pastoral needs of those students," said Mrs Turner.


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