Radio NZ reports that Australian share-market listed company Navitas has confirmed its commitment to a joint venture with the University of Canterbury this month to recruit and teach international students.
Navitas, which is a global company holding contracts with universities around the world, will establish a new department at the university offering a number of programmes, including commerce and engineering, to recruit and prepare international students for study at the university.
International student numbers at the university have fallen by about 400 since the earthquakes.
The University of Canterbury has struck a deal with a global education firm as part of a strategy to replenish its international student numbers after the earthquakes.
The Nelson Mail reports Navitas will set up a college, called UC International College (UCIC), on the university campus and offer several courses. If students complete these courses, they will be eligible to continue to degree studies.
Acting vice-chancellor Professor Ian Town said he expects the college to open in September and may start with about 40 students.
The agreement is for five years, with an option for another five years.
At present, 8 per cent of the university’s undergraduates were international students but it hoped to raise that to 15 per cent in 10 years.
Last year TEU raised a number of concerns about the publicly owned university establishing a relationship with the privately owned and run Navitas. The union argued that Navitas’ focus on generating a profit and a dividend for its shareholders means it will not necessarily share the same educational goals as the university should hold. Navitas has a poor reputation among unions and public education supporters in other countries where it operates because of the employment conditions it offers its staff and the way it sometimes regards international students as a product to be sold rather than as learners.