Angry Kiwi students protest residency grant call for foreign graduates

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Wellington, June 1 (ANI): The New Zealand Union of Students Association has declared the welcome residency mat being rolled out for foreigners graduating from a university in the country as bizarre and unfair.

The chairman of the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' Committee, Derek McCormack, has, however, welcomed the move.

McCormack, the Vice-Chancellor of the Auckland University of Technology, said the proportion of international students now enrolled was not high.

"We certainly can move up and we should be seeking to do so," the Dominion Post quoted McCormack, as saying.

The Government should consider making it easier for foreign graduates to become permanent New Zealand residents if they studied at and graduated from one of the eight Kiwi universities, he said.

"Why not keep as many of those people as we can?" he said. "... they've [foreign graduates of New Zealand universities] got good qualifications that are accepted here."

However, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce does not support the idea.

"The Government wants to encourage international students to come here for academic reasons, not as a short cut for them to obtain permanent residency," Joyce said.

He indicated the marketing of New Zealand to foreign students was to change.

"We put more money in this year and we put more money in last year but actually I think we are definitely going to have a look at how we best do that. The resources are being spread too thin," Joyce said.

"We're not a big country so perhaps some better co-ordination, some better use of those resources might be sensible. While the Government wants to attract thousands more international students to study here, they will not take places at the expense of Kiwi students," he added. (ANI)

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