Indian students discouraged from pursuing NZ education

An agent from India, who once praised New Zealand as a destination for student education, has now told his 1.6 million Facebook followers that people here only graze goats and sheep. 

Consultant Vinay Hari has also advised them to apply to study in Canada instead, amid a crackdown by Immigration New Zealand. 

In 2013, with the silver fern over his right shoulder, Mr Hari praised New Zealand. 

"New Zealand is a country of dreams, sitting in the lap of nature," he said. 

He went on to tell his followers New Zealand had created a system for students to study, work and get residency. 

But fast forward to a few days ago, with a Canadian flag in the background, and the message was very different when he was asked by a student about prospects in New Zealand. 

"What are you going to do in New Zealand? People only graze goats and sheep!" he said. 

"New Zealand has a population of four million - that means 20 sheep per person. People who have already gone to New Zealand have to graze sheep."

Union Network of Migrants spokesperson Mandeep Bela told Newshub while the remarks are ridiculous, they show agents in India are now focusing on new markets. 

"He's got a lot of backlash for what he has said. A lot of people have contacted him," he said.

"But now that the visa rules are changing, [agents] have gone back to criticising New Zealand and promoting other countries like Canada and Australia." 

Over the past nine months, on average, 279 student visa applications from India are turned down every month - that's about 30 percent. 

Last year the number was even greater. In August 2016, for example, around 1200 of the 1800 applicants were rejected.

"There's been a significant downturn in the Indian market," education consultant Paul Chalmers told Newshub.

"And there needed to be a correction in the Indian market, but it didn't need to go this deep."

Mr Chalmers, who runs an international school, said the agent's message is nonsense. 

"There are jobs in New Zealand and there are very high-quality providers."

The agent, whose consultancy has a visa approval rating in New Zealand of just 17 percent, has since posted another video, this time apologising for his remarks.