Evaluation of the Canterbury Work Rights Initiative

The Canterbury Work Rights (CWR) Initiative came into force on 27 August 2012. The initiative trialled the extension of eligibility for part-time work rights for English language and foundation students in Canterbury. The objectives of the CWR initiative were to support the Canterbury International Education Strategy’s focus on promoting Christchurch’s attractiveness as a study destination and to ‘road test’ the integration of immigration incentives into the New Zealand Qualifications Authority’s (NZQA’s) incentives and sanctions system to support quality education provision. In October 2013 Cabinet announced a further extension of work rights to all English language students enrolled for at least 14 weeks at the highest quality education providers across New Zealand.

An evaluation of the CWR initiative was undertaken in 2013, involving analysis of visas issued under the initiative, an online survey of students issued visas under the initiative, interviews with a selection of students who had completed the online survey, and interviews with education providers. The purpose of the evaluation was to assess the extent to which the initiative was meeting its stated aims and to examine the risks and impact of the initiative. It was also intended that the evaluation would assess the long-term feasibility of the initiative; however, the nationwide extension occurred before the evaluation was completed. As a result, the size of the evaluation was reduced and the objectives were redefined to assess how any potential risks of the roll-out could be managed or mitigated

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