Welcome to the reign of Jacinda Adern. New Zealand's new Prime Minister has announced that no longer will Australians be able to automatically get subsidised university education across the Tasman. Instead, we will need to have lived within New Zealand for three years in order to skirt paying international student fees. Which is
absolutely shocking actually fair enough, given Kiwis have to pay international fees in Australia.
The change comes off the back of the a new—and frankly incredible—free tertiary education policy being rolled out in New Zealand over the next decade. The Adern Government is planning to implement three years of free tertiary education by 2024, starting with a free first year for students from 2018.
Currently, Australian students pay the same as local students in New Zealand. However, New Zealand Education Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed on Wednesday that Australians will be barred from free study and training unless they have lived in the country for at least three years.
"Any Australians wanting to take up fees-free tertiary study will need to meet the three-year residence requirement that currently applies to accessing interest free student loans and student allowances. This will also apply to other residents from different countries," Hipkins told local media.
"Australians who have been ordinarily resident in New Zealand for less than three years will continue to pay domestic fees."
Right now, Australians are able to pay domestic student tertiary fees in New Zealand. However, they can’t apply for student loans or support payments unless they are long term residents of three years or more.
Earlier this month, Ardern had indicated this position to Malcolm Turnbull and reiterated that there would be fee hikes for Australian students if Kiwis were charged international fees in Australia. Turns out, she’s a woman of her word.
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