New Zealand Labour Party

Government must clamp down on dodgy PTEs

The Government must ensure all international students coming to New Zealand are legitimate after a survey of those approved in Mumbai found only 9 per cent had genuine intentions and met English language requirements, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“The 2014 survey obtained by Labour under the Official Information Act was conducted after a surge of 81 per cent more approvals was red flagged by authorities. It is absolutely shocking that of the 221 approvals audited, only 9 per cent met the criteria.

“That surge was caused by the Government relaxing English language requirements in 2013. This led to dodgy offshore agents being employed by Private Training Establishments who have a vested interest to see more foreign students taking up their courses.

“Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce is so hell-bent on expanding the international education sector that he relaxed the rules and in doing so risked damaging New Zealand’s reputation.

“We’ve got potentially thousands of students in New Zealand now who don’t meet basic
English requirements and may not be here to study. There has been a complete lack of oversight here by an increasingly arrogant and out of touch Government.

“These students are being set up to fail. If they don’t have the language skills to study here, they won’t do well in their courses and are open to being exploited.

“Steven Joyce must ensure foreign students in other offshore centres aren’t being granted the same dodgy approvals to study in New Zealand that agents were handing out in Mumbai,” Chris Hipkins says.