Since the announcement of the 2017 Budget early last week,there has been a great deal of media coverage concerning changes to universityfees, funding and repayment thresholds. However, it is worth considering howthese will impact international students, namely those hailing from NewZealand.
Students from New Zealand will no longer be eligible forcommonwealth fee subsidies that are offered to domestic students, meaning theywill now pay full price for their qualifications. The fee hike will besubstantial; a science degree that previously cost around $9,000 will skyrocketto over $35,000.
Student loans will be available for New Zealanders to offsetthe financial strain but it will come at a cost in the form of a 25 per cent loanfee. The changes will apply from January 2018 and fortunately for current NewZealand natives studying in Australia, the new regulations will not apply tothem.
The decision has been met with strong criticism,particularly from those across the Tasman. The chairman of advocacy group OzKiwi, Tim Gassin described the fee hikes as “absurd” and an “act of bastardry.”Even New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English chimed in, saying he was “pretty unhappy”with the situation.
It comes barely a week after Immigration Minister Peter Duttonannounced the longer wait times associated with citizenship rule changes wouldalso apply to New Zealanders.