Right to work given for Canterbury English language students
New Zealand Immigration minister Nathan Guy recently announced that work rights would be extended to foreigners studying the English language in Canterbury.
The move came as a reaction to a significant fall in the numbers of overseas students arriving in earthquake-hit Canterbury to study the English language. Guy stated that foreign students are important to Canterbury’s economy and its recovery from the devastation, but added that student numbers had taken a hit since the two earthquakes.
The new rules, he added, should attract more overseas students to the city, thus benefiting its local economy. A trial period of 18 months will take place, during which the right to work will be given to English language students enrolled with accredited education providers.
Provided students are enrolled for a one–year Level 4 Foundation Certificate in the language or a 14-week English language programme, they will be allowed to work for 20 hours a week. According to the minister, English language course providers in the city have told him that the right to work is a practical way to help rebuild the city as it will attract a higher number of students.
The trial, which will be carefully monitored by Immigration New Zealand, is aimed not just at attracting more students, but will hopefully have a knock-on effect on attracting more people to spend, live and work in the region. A number of educational institutes in the city centre were destroyed by the earthquakes.
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