Conflicting Points on Student Return Worsen AU’s Int’l Education Sector

Student Return Worsen scaled 1

Australia’s international education sector is expected to suffer a greater burden as conflicting approaches to students’ return remain in place even as the government recently dropped the country’s border restrictions.

Two approaches currently leave international students in conflict: One that requires quarantine and the other that does not. Either quarantine will forgo millions of promised earnings or students will be forced to sacrifice two weeks in unnecessary self-isolation.

Key Takeaways:

  • It is believed that Australia’s international education sector will face the impacts of two conflicting approaches on student return.
  • The two approaches include one that requires quarantine and the other that does not.
  • The “pilot” plans of four states failed to materialize and led to the suffering of the international education sector.

The developed “pilot” plans of four states—New South Wales (NSW), South Australia, Queensland, and Victoria—were conceived a month ago, jetting in up to 250 students at a time and quarantining them in purpose-built facilities.

Such plans aimed to give reassurance to international students that they would be able to travel to Australia and also show locals that students could be admitted safely.

However, because of COVID-19 outbreaks, cost concerns, and political recalcitrance, the plans took so long to materialize that they have been overtaken by other developments.

NSW and Victoria now intend to admit vaccinated foreigners with no quarantine requirements starting in November. This is anticipated to possibly change by Dec. 6 when the first of the pilot flights is expected to land in Sydney. The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) plans to follow suit early next year, 

If the plans suddenly change, students could find themselves forced to spend two weeks in quarantine and shoulder sharing costs of at least GBP 4,900 per head with their universities.

It can be recalled that the national COVID-19 transition plan has been approved by all federal, state, and territory governments.

The plan was placed to allow more international students to be admitted once 80 percent of eligible locals have been fully vaccinated, with “reduced requirements” and “proportionate quarantine” for all immunized travelers.

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