2021 NSW and VIC Making Plans for International Students to Return
New South Wales and Victoria are home to Australia’s largest number of international student cohorts so it is no wonder they are both trying to greenlight programs that would allow international students to return.
The money that International students contribute to the economy has been pivotal to Australia as education is Australia’s 4th largest export and Victoria’s largest. The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates in 2019, 57% of the A$40 billion that international education contributed to the Australian economy, or A$22.8 billion, came in the form of goods and services spent in the wider economy. It’s easy to see why the states are so desperate to find a way to bring international students back.
How will these programs work to allow international students to return to Australia? When do they plan to implement the program?
How will these programs work to let International Students return?
The NSW government has stated that they want to repurpose student housing, inviting eligible purpose-built student accommodation providers based in the Sydney CBD or its fringe to submit an expression of interest to house international students coming into NSW for the 14-day quarantine period. Proposed properties will be assessed in consultation with NSW Police; NSW Health; and Fire and Rescue NSW for assessing their suitability to join the programme.
Part of the issue has been working within the quotas set by the Government as they want to prioritise returning citizens before international students but NSW hope by assigning student accommodation as quarantine spaces they will be able to get around this however there is still limited seating on flights.
If NSW is successful in implementing getting permission from the government for the go ahead with the program it could become a blueprint for a way for all States and Territories to let their international students return.
Victoria had reopened their hotel quarantine program on April 8th and requested an additional 120 places to include places for international students however this plan was rejected by the federal government. Victoria will not give up and continue to push for a way to have international students return to the state. “We look forward to welcoming international students back to Victoria when it is safe to do so. The current budget provides 33.4 million Australian dollars to lay the foundation for a strong recovery for the sector,” A spokesperson for the Victorian government stated.
Anger and Frustration Among Student Visa Holders Wondering when will International Students Return
Thousands of student visa holders have been left stranded overseas unable to return to Australia because of the border closure. Frustration had already boiled over for the thousands of international students unable to return that were having to attend classes remotely online.
In fact, a petition was started and signed by over 10,000 of these students that cited the bad quality of the online education.
They have stated that the group is willing to follow whatever regulations would be set to make it possible for them to return such as taking the vaccine and quarantining for the required amount of time.
What do these Plans Mean for you?
As of now only the Northern Territory has been the only state or territory that was able to arrange the return of part of its international student community, however it was only 63 students. If New South Wales and Victoria find a way to let international students return then it would be a huge step forward for those of you out there currently unable to return to Australia on a student visa.
Australia is still granting student visas at the moment so this would also provide the pathway for those of you getting student visas granted at the moment, hoping to start your new course in person, as opposed to online learning.
Ready to be the one of the first International students to enter Australia? Get your Australian visa now!
Are you still wondering when International Students can return to Australia?
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