These changes reflect the importance of export education, contributing NZ$2.6 billion a year to New Zealand’s economy.
The changes will take effect from December 2013 and were announced by Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.
The work rights changes will allow more English language students studying at high-quality providers to work part-time. The changes also provide full-time work rights during all scheduled holidays to international students who take a course of one academic year or more, and give unlimited work rights to international PhD and Masters by research students.
Immigration New Zealand will no longer grant visas to students seeking to enrol at the few providers in Category 4, the lowest status granted by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).
Immigration New Zealand will also be trialling an industry partnership initiative with education providers. Providers that are part of the initiative will be able to offer streamlined and prioritised visa processing, and in return will be accountable for the immigration outcomes of their international students.
Read about the economic impact of international education on Education New Zealand's website.
These papers address the pastoral care of overseas students, their work rights while in New Zealand, and government partnerships with high-quality educational institutions.