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‘Rule Changes for Young Students Welcomed’

‘Rule Changes for Young Students Welcomed’

For Immediate Release ‘The new rule changes governing the protection of very young international students are a good balance between prudence and practicality’ says Robert Stevens, Chief Executive of Education New Zealand. ‘We welcome that the Minister has given a clear steer, after months of speculation. The new rules are more restrictive than before, but contain sensible provisions to allow for the continuation of educational provision to very young students’.

‘New Zealand should take it as a compliment to our educational and social quality that parents are prepared to send their young children here for an education’ says Mr Stevens. ‘There are many schools who are doing a splendid job teaching these young students, and who have invested considerable time and money by way of specialist facilities and staff to ensure the best possible care and teaching. We are delighted that this superb quality has been recognised, and that providers will be able to continue to teach young students.’

‘Most responsible institutions will accept these new rules’ says Mr Stevens. ‘In particular, the guardian visa is a welcome development, and the sunset clause for existing contracts is a fair transitional response. Institutions with very young pupils have shared the general concern that there must be robust guardianship arrangements. The new visa recognises this, and means that the responsible parent or guardian can be a fulltime care provider, rather than having to comply with visa regulations which compromise their ability to be a responsible parent. It’s a good idea, and not before time.’

Mr Stevens also welcomes the age limit clauses. ‘The limitation of the parental requirement to Year 1-6 is the most sensible compromise’ he says. ‘We certainly support the strengthening of the Code requirements for intermediate level students, but believe that the Government is correct in allowing slightly greater flexibility at this level’.

‘The announced changes are timely, sensible and recognise the high quality of educational and pastoral services provided by this small but important part of our international education industry’ says Mr Stevens.

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