The government of New Zealand has initiated a new set of border exceptions for 250 international PhD and postgraduate students who will be allowed to return to the country and complete their unfinished work.

According to a press release issued by New Zealand government, students who will return in New Zealand are required to respect all the measures imposed as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, among them, the 14-day quarantine at government’s facilities, VisaGuide.World reports.

New Zealand’s Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, said that the decision on border exceptions shows the importance of international education in New Zealand’s recovery after many difficulties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The first PhDs and postgraduate students will arrive in New Zealand during November 2020, whereas most of them will return by next year.

“These are students who hold or held a visa for 2020, and whose long-term commitment to study here was disrupted by COVID-19. Priority will be given first to those who need to be in the country for the practical components of their research and study”, Hipkins said.

According to Hipkins, this time a lower number of international students will benefit from exceptions, compared to the number of exceptions that New Zealand has usually granted, adding that everything will be carefully managed while bringing students back in the country.

“Allowing these students to travel to New Zealand is a step in the right direction for the international education sector. The government will review other possible border exceptions, as and when it is safe to do so,” the Minister said. 

Among other things, Hipkins highlighted that international PhD and postgraduate students will play a vital role in increasing the global reputation and competitiveness of the country’s institutions.

In collaboration with Tertiary Education Organizations, the Ministry of Education will work on selecting students who will benefit from border exceptions.

10,400 exceptions have been granted so far for family members of citizens and permanent residents in New Zealand, essential health workers as well as for workers of other essential sectors in fighting COVID-19 pandemic.

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