Indian students can now begin their study at New Zealand’s top university while still in India waiting to be able to travel to Auckland.
The University of Auckland has launched an innovative support package designed specifically for undergraduate and master's students from India who want to advance their study ahead of New Zealand’s phased reopening of its border during 2022.
Indian students contribute significantly to the university’s research activity and this approach reflects the University of Auckland’s commitment to them.
The vice-chancellor of the university, Dawn Freshwater, said that COVID-19 and the Delta and Omicron variants have had a devastating impact on India and its students. “It has meant online study and an inability to travel abroad to further their ambitions in overseas universities. It has also meant that we have been unable to visit India to meet with colleagues,” she said.
The institute’s international director, Brett Berquist, led a process to consider how the university could support Indian students through this difficult period of phased border reopening. “We know many students finance their studies through educational loans, which are complicated to secure while studying part-time and online. Having recognised this as an obstacle, we are offering deferred fees payment for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) master's students.”
These master’s students will be able to begin their studies online from India while delaying their fee payment until they activate their education loan when they travel to New Zealand. These students will also be offered a 30% bursary starting this year.
“We believe this innovative approach is a win-win as students can press on and begin their masters with the University of Auckland,” Berquist said.
An undergraduate student support package has also been developed after extensive research with students and their families in India. It includes virtual micro-internships with NZ companies, a loyalty programme providing a one-course fee waiver after the completion of two semesters of full-time study. This programme includes additional online support as well.
Freshwater explained, “Our support package will allow students to begin building their employability skills, while starting their studies in India. And once they arrive in New Zealand, they will benefit from our world-leading work rights provisions which they can use while studying and for three years once their studies are complete.”