New code: Protecting international students
image courtesy: beehive.govt.nz
Realising the importance of international students in New Zealand's education sector, the National Government, has put in place two very important measures since July 1, this year.
First is the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code Of Practice 2016 replacing the existing Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students, for which the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is the Code Administrator.
And second is establishing a new International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS) – to be operated by FairWay Resolution Limited, a Crown company specialising in disputes resolution, to resolve contractual and financial disputes between international students and education providers.
These measures are aimed at providing international students with accurate and reliable information to make informed choices about coming to study and live in New Zealand.
“The new Code will further strengthen providers’ responsibilities for the recruitment of international students, and the care of them while they are in the country,” noted Steven Joyce, minister for tertiary education, skills and employment.
“Importantly, education providers are required under the new Code to monitor and ensure the quality of agents they use to recruit students, including checking references and ensuring agents have complete and reliable information about study opportunities in New Zealand,” he added.
Providers must also sign contracts with their agents and these contracts must provide grounds for terminating the services of the agents who do not comply with New Zealand law and regulations.
Notably, the number of international students choosing to study in New Zealand continues to grow with more than 120,000 international students choosing to study here in 2015. Thus, in addition to the regulatory reform, the Government is also exploring ways to work more closely with communities and non-government bodies to continue to improve services and support for international students in New Zealand, said a media release by the Ministry.
- Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code Of Practice 2016
- International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme
- Education providers required to monitor and ensure the quality of agents they use to recruit students; must also sign contracts with their agents