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The landslide victory of New Zealand’s Labour Party in October’s general election will allow them to form a majority government without a coalition partner. While the Labour Party may wish to restore mobility for international students at New Zealand’s higher education institutions, the nationwide resistance to opening borders will be difficult to overcome. As a result of New Zealand’s success at keeping rates of the Coronavirus very low, there is now a deep reluctance to resume welcoming large numbers of international migrants, including students. After the election, the government did tweak the current restructions on international students to all 250 postgraduate students who were already enrolled in degree courses to return to New Zealand, but there is no sign that larger numbers of international students will return anytime soon. This is likely to have a substantial impact on the funding model of New Zealand’s higher education instututions, as significant revenue is generated from international student fees and it seems unlikely that funding for the sector will be high on the new government’s list of priorities.
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