The Social and economic security of international students: a New Zealand study

Erlenawati Sawir, Simon Marginson, Chris Nyland, Gaby Ramia, Felicity Rawlings-Sanaei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


International education has generated complex problems of governance. As well as being beneficiaries of educational services and consumers of a product, international students are also migrants, workers and beings with civil rights. Arguably, the regulation of international student security as consumer protection fails to recognize this full range of human rights. The research consisted of 70 semi-structured interviews with international students at two institutions in New Zealand, which has devised a unique consumer protection regime embodied in the New Zealand Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. Student problems in relation to language difficulties, finances, accommodation, personal safety and freedom from discrimination, and social integration are discussed. The study finds that support services do not fully cater for the needs of international students nor accord them the full range of potential rights. The Code covers some but not all aspects of student security; and the fact that international students know little about the Code constrains its efficacy as a regulatory framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-482
Number of pages22
JournalHigher Education Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • international education
  • international students
  • pastoral care
  • security
  • social protection
  • code of practice


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