International education stakeholders are concerned that New Zealand’s reopening of borders for fully vaccinated foreign nationals starting April 30 next year will put the country’s providers at a competitive disadvantage if other study destinations open sooner.
The country expects to welcome the most fully vaccinated guests without a mandated hotel quarantine by the end of April, after emerging from one of the world’s longest lockdowns.
- Stakeholders in international education are afraid that the reopening of New Zealand’s borders on April 30, 2022, will be ‘too late.’
- With Australia’s opening on Dec. 1, there is a risk that New Zealand will lose market share indefinitely.
International students will be included in the third stage of the border opening plan, which will begin on Jan. 17 for fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residence-class visa holders from Australia.
Travelers with documentation of full vaccination, a negative pre-departure test, a test on arrival, and a final test before entering the community following self-isolation for seven days will be exempt from managed isolation and quarantine restrictions.
However, English New Zealand, an organization of English language providers from several sectors, warned that with Australia’s opening on Dec. 1, there is a risk that New Zealand will lose market share indefinitely.
International education stakeholders estimate that April 30 is two to three months after schools and institutions begin their academic year, and five months after close competitor Australia reopens to international students.
English New Zealand furthered that schools would bounce back because there was pent-up demand for English language courses and they would be lobbying for an earlier opening date for international students.
According to Universities New Zealand chief executive Chris Whelan, the country will be the last of the traditional international education countries to remain closed to international students or to require international students to enter through managed isolation.
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