More than AU$37 million will be made available to help international education providers who are most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including extended regulatory fee waivers and other grants.
- Australia has announced plans to assist its international education sector “roar back.”
- Over AU$37 million will be made available to assist international education providers who are the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- An extension for some post-study work rights is also targeted to support the international education sector of Australia.
The financial package includes AU$27.8 million in regulatory fee relief for 2022, a one-year extension of the current FEE-HELP loan fee exemption, and AU$9.4 million for the Innovation Development Fund.
The Innovation Development Fund will help English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) providers diversify their education offerings into online and offshore delivery.
While the most recent statistics as of August 2021 reveal that international student enrolments are down 17 percent overall compared to August 2019, the ELICOS sector has seen the most significant drop in enrolments, down 71% percent
According to Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge, the announcement will accelerate the COVID-19 rehabilitation process for the 2022 academic year, allowing international students to return sooner.
Moreover, changes to visa settings will give international students much-needed flexibility as they prepare to return to Australia.
The new settings will expand measures to protect international students’ post-study work rights and extend the temporary graduate visa for masters by coursework graduates from two to three years.
For Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawk, changes to visa settings for international education brought students some much-needed relief as Australia’s borders were poised to reopen.
These measures will aid in implementing the Australian Strategy for International Education, which will be issued soon.
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