WINSTON PETERS: Joyce’s international education – producing cooks who can’t fry eggs

You know something is seriously wrong in this country when as we learned this week one of New Zealand’s biggest schools for international students has been churning out cooking graduates who can’t boil or fry an egg.

Not that this sort of thing is anything new.

For years New Zealand First has been pointing out the corruption and incompetence of international education in New Zealand.

We’ve shown what international education really is – a scam for students to get visas to live here and a way for education providers and the government to make easy money.

Nearly half of New Zealand’s 115,875 international fee-paying students are attending low-value courses at private training establishments.

But the government gets excited and quivery at the knees when they see the $4.28 billion international education brings into the country each year.

Their attitude is: Who cares about standards, look at the bucks!

As a result we have the sad mess before us: international students who are supposedly here to study but who are working illegally and getting exploited; widespread document fraud by education agents especially in India; New Zealanders being pushed out of jobs; wages and work conditions being driven down and the closure of outfits like the NZ International Academy where staff were told to pass students who should have been failed.

On it goes and Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has the brazen cheek to defend it.

He has said most education providers are OK and students go home after study or move on to a worthwhile job.

The truth is 58 tertiary education institutions were investigated for possible breaches in 2015 – up 61 per cent from the year before – and once the international students finish their courses, most of them stay put here and manipulate the system to get full-time jobs and residence visas.

And we have outfits like the Cornell Institute of Business and Technology passing cooks whose culinary skills do not stretch to boiling eggs.