The borders of New Zealand will soon be reopened to a limited number of foreign postgraduate students. Still, their numbers will be smaller than the government had initially announced last month. New Zealand universities, which serve the eight universities in the region, announced RNZ that 194 qualifying students were contacted and are now going to start their visa procedure.
It said students are from China, the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Vietnam, Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, Italy and France and took a month to see if all students could come. In October 2020, Minister of Education Chris Hipkins previously announced that it would reopen the borders for 250 international students to continue their postgraduate studies in New Zealand, with the first-class scheduled to arrive in November and the remainder next year.
For most of the year, New Zealand borders were closed to nearly all international voyageurs; on 10 August 2020; the country briefly halted visa applications from outside New Zealand. Hipkins points out that this current exemption “is a balanced judgement that acknowledges the crucial role played by foreign education in the regeneration and rehabilitation of New Zealand and the need to battle the pandemic continuously.”
New Zealand universities have said that the total amount is fewer than the initial quota because the qualification requirements are very strict. In 2020, international students require a visa and must be enrolled at a college. Their thesis needs to include real things such as medicine, screening, engineering, laboratory experiments. If they are not in New Zealand, they will not be able to advance or complete their studies.
The reopening of the boundaries of New Zealand to a few international students remains daunting for many postgraduate students who are trapped outside of New Zealand. On Twitter there is the “#waiting for NZ visa” and “#let phd students enter” hashtag movement by foreign students who are still unable to return to New Zealand. The suspension of temporary journeys from outside New Zealand did not suit well for many students who fear losing their scholarships or who are unable to continue learning remotely.
One Twitter user, Saghaarr, said I am disappointed that I am losing my PhD bid due to delayed visa procedures,” and another user who is on a Masoud moniker, said, “We Iranian students have scholarship bids from prestigious universities in #NZ. However, we still have a 6-month #waiting for NZ visa. Plz, support us.” Plz, support us.
The NZ visa tactics under the pandemic state of play are being respected, and the bulk of our visa applicants go back before the outbreak of COVID-19, User Khsa1104 said. This expectation is unrealistic. “Online learning does not work for academics,” said one Twitter User, Defending Offshore NZ PhD students. You must resume your training in NZ. They can also be isolated easily. Support and #let PhD students enter, please.”