25 June 2020 at 9:00 am
International Student Hardship Fund now fully allocated
ENZ approved a total of 105 applications, assisting approximately 11,000 international students in temporary hardship.
The fund first opened for applications on 21 May. It was met with immediate interest by a wide variety of education institutions and community groups.
A cross-ENZ team named Kāhui Oranga was charged with the fund’s administration. They met twice weekly to go through applications and ensure a balanced allocation of funds between regions, sectors and institutions.
Education providers and community organisations are disseminating grants from the fund to international students in the form of cash grants, food parcels and accommodation support.
ENZ Director of Student Experience and Global Citizens, Sahinde Pala, led Kāhui Oranga. She says the government was glad to be able to offer international students tangible support in such an uncertain time.
“At ENZ we talk a lot about manaakitanga – the offering of hospitality and respect to guests. We really want every student that comes to New Zealand to feel valued,” she says.
“It was obvious once the impacts of COVID-19 began to be felt here that we needed to offer our international students most in need extra support during these difficult times.”
Last week, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Poto Williams, announced the Assistance for Foreign Nationals impacted by COVID-19 Programme.
This $37.6 million fund will open on 1 July and be administered by the Department of Internal Affairs. International students experiencing serious hardship will be able to apply to this programme to receive support with basic needs such as food and accommodation.