Gerry Brownlee ‘unhappy’ over changes for Kiwi students in Australia

Duncan Garner on The AM Show

Matthew Hutching – NewsHub

New Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee says he’ll confront the problem of Kiwi students being charged higher fees in Australia when he is across the Tasman.

Australia’s government has announced Kiwis studying in Australia will no longer received subsidised university fees from 2018.

Mr Brownlee’s first overseas trip will be to Australia next week, where he will meet his counterpart Julie Bishop.

He told The AM Show he’s disappointed, but can understand why they did it.

“Put it in the context of what I understand is a AU$2.8 billion cut to Australian education spending that affects their own domestic students as well.

“On a person-to-person basis I don’t think that changes too much Our relationship is deep and close. You’d liken it to a bit of a hillbilly wedding – even if we had a divorce we’d still be first cousins.

“We’re unhappy, but it’s more about the fact that as this relationship has been changing, we would like a little more notice about it.

“But more than that, besides discussing all the things that we have in common internationally over the next day, we’ll also want to know if there are more changes coming down the pipe.”

Kiwis’ fees for Australian unis to rise sharply in 2018

There are currently 8000 New Zealanders studying in Australia, 6000 of them could be affected by the changes.

They’d be charged the same as international students, upping the average fees Kiwis pay from about AU$7000 a year to more than AU$25,000. [Kiwis will pay domestic full fees, not international fees].

Some estimates put the fee increases even higher – up to 500 percent.

A Kiwi architecture student at the University of New South Wales is already struggling to make ends meet.

Emma Hastie says the new policy will especially hurt those in hands-on degrees.

[Read the NewsHub article].

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