More international students will be able to come to Otago Uni from June, with 400 spots in MIQ set aside for international students.
The New Zealand International Students’ Association welcomed the news and said that the “lack of MIQ spaces has been a long-standing problem for returning individuals but today’s announcement provides certainty and clarity for our colleagues.” They say that they’re “excited to welcome back more international students.”
Even if more spots were opened up, there are concerns many cannot afford the steep financial hurdles of getting through MIQ facilities. The Uni is offering some support though. A spokesperson told Critic “financially, the University has committed to meeting half the MIQ costs of those students returning under the arrangements of the first two cohorts. In addition, these students, once back on campus, are able to access Pūtea Tautoko Student Relief Fund should there be a need.”
An Otago University spokesperson did not know how many of the 400 extra MIQ spots for June would be allocated to Otago students, but said that 30 of the 120 Otago international students allowed in for the year had already arrived. Some simple maths tells us that the amount of international Otago students allowed to arrive in June is some number less than 90.
A maximum of 120 Otago students will be allowed into the country this year, due to a limit on the number of total returning international students. 250 Otago students meet the criteria to return to New Zealand for study, which include being close to finishing a degree at Otago and having $20,000 of living costs to bring with you.
“The Government has set firm eligibility criteria for the first two cohorts of students allowed to return, resulting in most of our students offshore not being eligible, or those eligible unable to meet the terms of re-entry,” said a spokesperson for the University. “Our hope is that future cohorts will give additional cohorts of international students the opportunity to return to study on campus.”
The Uni spokesperson also stated that there are “more than 200 international students at the undergraduate and postgraduate level currently studying online.”