The Australian government plans to provide more than a $53 million federal budget to the struggling international education sector hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of border closure, the number of international student enrollment drastically dropped over the year. Similarly, the higher education institutes and colleges were shut completely. This led the federal government to take action for their revival plan.
The private higher education providers, VET colleges, and language institutions will share the federal budget. So, the fund will support the sector in planning the business model for international education and extra course offerings. This way, the fund intends to help the sector sustain itself without international students.
February data shows enrolments of overseas students declined 12 percent at universities. Meanwhile, language schools and other non-university education providers had seen plunges as high as 70 percent.
The May 11 Federal Budget will allocate separate funds, Education Minister Alan Tudge said in a statement. Certainly, the funds target to support non-university providers or international education sector as their revenue has declined sharply and are on the verge to collapse.
Budget division for struggling international education sector
The support of $53 million budget for struggling international education sector includes budget division among the three major areas:
- $26.1 million to fund 5000 short course places across 100 non-university education providers. Such institutes can attract more domestic students.
- $9.4 million for an innovation fund which will provide grants of up to $150,000. This fund is typically for those providers who can provide online study or offshore delivery.
- $17.7 million for waiving registration charges to colleges, English language institutions, and around 3500 VET providers. The charges from the government regulatory bodies like Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, and Australian Skills Quality Authority will be waived until December.
Further, around 30,000 current and prospective students will receive FEE-HELP loan fee exemptions until 31 December 2021.
The Australian government hopes that the measures will help many such domestic and international students as well as Australian businesses supporting local jobs.
For more industry related news, stay updated with our page.