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Return Of International Students Gives Pause For Thought

The tertiary education sector continues to demonstrate it is at the frontline in Aotearoa’s recovery as the Minister of Education Chris Hipkins announces the return of international students.

TEU welcomes the safe return of international students and is now calling on institutional leaders to take voluntary leaving and enhanced retirement packages off the table.

TEU National Secretary Sandra Grey comments on the announcement stating: “Our institutions now have a clear signal that international students will be coming back, that means they can more confidently ride out the current dip in revenue using their significant reserves. There is no need for job cuts.”

The return of international students begins with a scheme managed centrally by the Government and is an opportunity to reflect on how institutions can support educational experiences rather than competing for students and treating learners as cash cows.

Grey goes further stating “International education should be about contributing to the whole of Aotearoa, not a single institution or insular revenue stream.”

Any return of international students must be worked through to ensure safe and sustainable working, teaching, and learning environments.

“This is just the beginning. We need buy-in on how the sector is going to change and evolve in the future. The closure of the borders due to COVID-19 has illustrated just how broken our approach to international education has been, and highlights the problems overall in the funding of study at universities, wānanga, and polytechnics.

Grey says “TEU is calling on all leaders to lead by example and bring new ideas and new approaches to the management of institutions in an all of sector hui hosted by TEU on November 17th to plan for the future of education together.”

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