International students make welcome return

Published on 11 August 2022

UCOL's Palmy campus is housed in a heritage brick building and a modern glass-fronted extension.

The tap has turned back on for Palmy’s international education sector, with the first overseas students returning to the city since Covid-19 cut the flow in early 2020.

Students began to arrive from countries with visa waivers from 1 July, with entry for visa holders opening this month on 1 August.

International education has played a strong part in Palmy’s social and economic fabric for decades, with a range of public and private providers offering a wide range of quality opportunities for study and training.

UCOL’s Executive Director, Business and Industry Partnerships Jasmine Groves says the polytechnic is seeing heartening signs of a rebound in the international student education space.

“Semester two this year has seen new students arriving from Vietnam, South Africa, India and South Korea. Our overseas students add vibrancy to both our campus and the wider community with their multi-cultural backgrounds and diverse world views. We’re looking forward to receiving more students as part of the August intake, and then focusing on those enrolling for Semester 1 in 2023.”

Palmerston North City Council has also been working hard on forging new relationships. In June we celebrated the signing of a Memorandum of Arrangement with the Department of Education and Training in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Min City. The agreement allows us to actively promote opportunities for students and teachers between the two cities.

International Relations Manager Gabrielle Nguyen says relationships like this are hugely important to shine a light on all Palmy has to offer to significant markets overseas.

“The absence of international students in the city due to the Covid pandemic was felt by not just our schools and institutions but also our community. Our international connections are part of what makes Palmy a great place to live. The great news is that all our education providers have indicated there is strong interest from overseas to come study with them.”

She says international graduates are a source of talents and skills we need for the city’s development, and a good experience while they’re here can also make them ambassadors for Palmy on the world stage.

“Our best asset will always be satisfied students who can attest to the quality of our educational study and living experience. These students are our champions and global advocates. They often become key connections with skilled migrants, investors and export partners for the region.”