|NEW ZEALAND'S EDUCATION
The New Zealand government will undergo a review of offshore education agents, with a potential introduction of regulatory measures in the future, according to Labour minister, Priyanca Radhakrishnan.Speaking at a rally organised by the Migrant Worker Association, Unite Union and Auckland Unitarian Church, Radhakrishnan said the Labour-led coalition government wanted to prevent fraudulent behaviour of agents.
“We have concerns about offshore education agents who are acting illegally and unethically in many cases, and potentially doing all sorts of things without the students’ knowledge as well,” she said.
“We will review this, and we may consider regulation as well. The Labour Party is absolutely clear that these offshore education agents [must] act legally, ethically and appropriately.”
The announcement appears to be in response to an incident last year in which around 150 Indian students were found to have fraudulent visa documentation and subsequently deported, a circumstance the students claimed was due to actions undertaken by their education agent.
If implemented, the regulations would be a New Zealand first, which Radhakrishnan acknowledged.
“We have concerns about offshore education agents who are acting illegally and unethically”
“Previous governments, and this is both National and Labour governments, haven’t regulated offshore education agents,” she said.Universities New Zealand executive director Chris Whelan said his organisation welcomed any move that would ensure prospective international students receive clear and accurate information from offshore agents.
“Universities have long been concerned by the actions of some less than genuine private tertiary providers, and some less than scrupulous agents, whose focus has been finding a fast track to New Zealand residency rather than tertiary education,” he told The PIE News.
PIE News November 2017