She expected over time, the changes would actually mean more Kiwis would be looking to study at Australian universities.

But the Prime Minister said there was now “significant uncertainty about the Australian attitude towards that traditional arrangement”.

Earlier this week, an Australian government proposal indicated subsidies for New Zealand citizens enrolling in tertiary education courses would likely be dumped, making them fee-paying students.

New Zealand’s foreign affairs minister says spats between Canberra and Wellington over student fees and citizenship entitlements have not harmed the “superb” relationship between the two countries.

“We’re pretty unhappy about it”.

The government says it expects student numbers to grow as a result of access to income-contingent loans.

Australia’s Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the change would allow around 60,000 new students to study in Australian universities as they will not need to pay fees upfront anymore.

Bishop assured New Zealanders they would have “greater opportunities” to access the Australian higher education system but they needed to be aware “it’s not a free service”. “They don’t want their kids to leave uni with these huge debts that are completely unexpected”, Gassin said.

Ms Bishop said the changes should be seen in the context of the Budget and the Government’s aim to keep the higher education sector “high quality and sustainable“.

Henry Sherrell, researcher at the Crawford School of Public Policy, was sceptical that potential students would flock to Australia the way the government anticipated.

Oz Kiwi spokesman Tim Gassin, whose organisation advocates for expats in Australia, said fees would rise by 300% to 500% if the proposals went ahead.

Depending on when they arrived in Australia, many New Zealanders can not access social welfare benefits or the National Disability Insurance Scheme, despite paying taxes.

One Lisa Schofield said the reforms would be “devastating and will be life-changing for so many families like my own”.

New Zealand citizens living in Australia will have to pay full university fees under a major policy change being proposed by the Australian Government. The student loans offered are said to not be enough to cover the additional costs of paying full fees.

Australians in New Zealand, in the spirit of the traditional approach both countries used to take, mostly have the same rights as New Zealanders.

More than 12,000 Kiwis are now studying in Australia.

Liked this? Then you’ll love these