Australia’s education minister Alan Tudge, has pledged a rapid increase in international students returning next year with hopes tens of thousands could be welcomed.
Alan Tudge on Friday told an international education conference the federal government was considering ways to rapidly expedite the return of students.
“Looking into next year, my expectation is that we will have very significant numbers coming in,” he said.
“I cannot put a figure on that just yet, but my hope would be that tens of thousands can return.”
Mr Tudge said limits would apply in the short-term but he remained hopeful caps would be scrapped to allow demand to drive student numbers rather than available places.
“When that occurs, I am confident that students will return in significant numbers.”
Australia will restart international travel from November with citizens and permanent residents the first priority for arrivals and departures.
Skilled migrants and students from overseas are expected to be next, ahead of tourists.
“These are all very promising and they are happening this year,” Mr Tudge said.
The education minister also wants a greater diversity of students entering Australia, which has largely relied on five countries but particularly China and India.
Mr Tudge said a concentrated market had financial risks and could also diminish local and overseas students’ experience.
“Some universities have responded to this through limits on international students and limits on proportion of students from any one country,” he said.
“We would obviously like to see universities themselves taking the lead on this, but we are also thinking deeply about policies to help facilitate this.”
He said a greater diversity of courses for international students should be more closely aligned with Australia’s skill needs so more people could become long-term residents.
International students to return to NSW from December 2021
NSW is expected to have around 500 international students return in December, while details around a South Australian plan are also being finalised.
From December 2021, a small, but increasing number of international students enrolled with New South Wales (NSW) education providers will have the opportunity to return to Australia to continue their studies on campus.
Under the pilot returns program, 500 students will return to the Australian state this year as part of the Australian Government-approved New South Wales International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan.
The plan sees 250 fully vaccinated students allowed to return to Australia in the first two weeks of December, followed by another 250 students in the second two weeks of that month.
Participating students must be fully-vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccination recognised by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) before they arrive in Sydney, and will be required to quarantine in purpose-built student accommodation in Sydney (regardless of which education provider they are enrolled with).
The selection of students for return to Australia, and the funding of the pilot program, will be managed and run by the New South Wales tertiary sector.
“This is an important milestone for NSW and reinforces the State’s standing as a world-leading study destination, especially for any international student considering NSW as the next place to learn and live in their education journey,” the announcement from Study NSW says.
The success of the pilot program will determine the next steps regarding its future expansion, which could involve school students by that stage.
The Australian Government continues to work closely with all of Australia’s states and territories on further development of student return and arrival plans.
International students could return to Victoria by the end of 2021
Here’s the latest news in Australia for international students — hundreds could return to Victorian universities by the end of the year.
In the latest news in Australia for students, hundreds of international students could reportedly return to Victoria by the end of the year following the state government’s approval of a plan to revive the 14 billion Australian dollar international education sector that has been badly affected by COVID-19.
Quoting a senior government source, The Age said 120 international students could be permitted to arrive in Victoria per week. Universities could cover the hotel quarantine costs under a plan to be sent to the Commonwealth for approval by the end of the week.