Up to 350 International Students to Return to Australia
Wednesday, 17 Jun 2020
Governments in Australia have approved a scheme for up to 350 international students to return to the country and resume their studies.
The students will be the first arrivals into Australia since its borders were shut in March to non-citizens and non-residents in order to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
It is not currently known where flights will depart, but students will fly into Australia in July in order to study at Australian National University and the University of Canberra; the first two universities to take part in the scheme designed to prepare the country as a whole for a wider international student intake next year.
Students must have previously studied in Canberra, and upon arrival a two-week mandatory quarantine must be observed at selected hotels. Further, preference will be given to students in the final year of their studies or those enrolled in postgraduate courses.
The University of Canberra’s vice-chancellor said the scheme would allow the university and the country “the time to develop the right processes and protocols to ensure the safety of those students coming to our campuses” before starting international student recruitment in the first semester of 2021.
The loss in international student revenue is set to have a big impact with it being predicted that up to $16bn will be lost in the sector by 2023 and 21,000 jobs affected due to the virus.
Meanwhile, talks are ongoing between Australia and New Zealand over a travel bubble that would allow travellers to enter both countries without having to observe quarantine rules. However, the travel and tourism minister states there is still “quite some distance” to go before open tourism returns.
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