How is NSW handling International Students in COVID?

Apr 8, 2021
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$53 million budget support for struggling international education sector

The $40 billion industry of international education is falling over as the Australian government fails to welcome temporary and permanent immigration post COVID. Nothing has changed for the international education sector, even though universities have geared up for another academic year. International students once again are disappointed as the government is continuously failing to provide any timeframe for their return back to the country.

What is Australia Planning Now?

International students are important assets for Australian universities, their economy, and their community. Moreover, the Australian government is looking for a new strategy for international education in Australia. The expert members of the Council for International Education and the government have also developed a consultation paper. The paper outlines the proposed vision and goals for the next 10 years’ strategy.

Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) has joined hands to develop the new strategy. ITECA members will look into a temporary approach for the return of international students. Meanwhile, the government will look into a sustainable long-term plan which will deliver quality outcomes for students. 

What is NSW’s plan?

New South Wales is planning an alternative hotel quarantine program for allowing international students to return. The NSW economy, which is contracted by $13.8 billion in June 2020, is a loss of around $1700 for every person in the state. The state’s treasury department started calling for expressions of interest to run the program. In addition, the state wants to sit outside the existing 3,000-a-week cap for arriving international students.

Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge has called universities to offer online courses for the new international education market. Also, the minister has directed universities to reduce the revenue dependency on high-fee-paying students of China and India.

The NSW government now hopes it can convince the federal government to approve its proposal by demonstrating it can return international students in a way that does not disrupt the return of Australian citizens or overload health and police services.

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