Labour’s immigration policy needs to backed by promise to fund public tertiary institutions properly

Posted By TEU on Jun 13, 2017 | 2 comments

Today the Labour Party announced a new immigration policy, including proposals to stop issuing student visas to people wanting to study certain courses and to restrict the availability of post-study work visas.

Commenting on the announcement, Sandra Grey, national president of the Tertiary Education Union, said:

“Labour will need to tread very carefully implementing its policy to limit immigration by reforming the student visa system. Over the last nine years, National has changed the tertiary education sector and cut funds by so much that many public institutions now depend on attracting increasing numbers of international students to maintain financial viability.

“If this policy achieves its stated aim of limiting student and post-study work visas, then Labour needs to make sure it does not have a knock-on effect on the public institutions that National has made reliant on fees from international students. It can do this by committing now to properly funding our public tertiary education institutions, rather than making them vulnerable to the international market as National has done.”

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  1. I think Andrew Little is aware of the tenuous position Universities are in with the national parties funding cuts and privatization agenda. It would be good if they (Labour) increase the R& D funding. A lot of damage has been done to the education sector so I’m hoping the next government can fix the mess left behind and that includes properly funding all areas of public education including our Kohanga Reo.

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  2. Thank goodness – I’m stunned that it is the Labour Party stepping up to clean up the rort that has become PTE international education.

    These are the students that the Universities and Polytechnics wouldn’t accept, so they end up lower on the educational ladder, with near-worthless qualifications and most without any intention of working in the field they are “studying” in – and in conversation, these students ADMIT this – it’s all about PR, people.

    Excellent move too, to cut out the 20 hours per week “work while you study” option, because there isn’t much study happening, and a lot more than 20 hours are being worked (illegally, and often within exploitative work environments).

    And if doing so takes out 70% of private PTE’s, and thus more funding is available to Universities and Polytechnics as a result – then so be it, provided the Universities and Polytechnics aren’t enabling the same rort -you hearing me, MIT? You hearing me, Unitec? You hearing me, University of Massey?

    Oh – and dis-establish the NZQA and set up an independent qualifications QC organisation – everyone’s just a wee bit close to each other in the “educational village” we all inhabit, for my liking.

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