On Tuesday 17 November, TEU, Te Wānanga Aronui o Tāmaki Makaurau | Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) will be hosting the Voices of Tertiary Education – Internationalisation Forum at AUT.

With the Government announcing the managed return of international students to Aotearoa, TEU feels it is timely for the sector to meet on the topics of internationalisation and international student education.

The hui comes as TEU has released a second Tertiary Lives | COVID-19 survey report illustrating the need to stabilise the tertiary education sector, and after an earlier NZUSA COVID-19 and Tertiary Students report exposed the impact of Covid-19 on the wellbeing, financial, and educational experience of students at tertiary institutions in Aotearoa.

The forum will meet to discuss:

• What is needed to address the funding shortfalls facing tertiary institutions due to the border closure.

• Learning from the impact of the Covid-19 response, how might we construct a sustainable and learner-focused approach to international student policy and processes, and internationalisation more broadly.

According to TEU Tumu Whakarae | National President Michael Gilchrist the hui will provide attendees an opportunity to discuss the issues raised above with sector leaders, in the hopes of tracing a positive path forward through collaboration and co-operation,

“Concern for student welfare sits alongside concern for staff welfare, who have also been struggling under the pressure of Covid-19. The impact of Covid-19 has been felt across the board in the tertiary education sector. Staff conditions of work affect students' conditions of learning – and vice-versa.

There is no doubt that the Covid-19 border closures have had a major impact on the budgets of tertiary education institutions. Sector leaders will join together at this forum to discuss how we address the immediate issue of funding shortfalls, but also the longer term issue of what we need for Aotearoa in the way of an internationalisation strategy that does not prove as risky as the current approach”.