Aussie Treasurer Frydenberg’s speech left the sector speechless… Students can’t keep studying online… till 2022.

International travel, including by tourists and international students, is assumed to remain largely closed off until late next year and then gradually return over time.”

Treasurer speech at the Australian Press Club on 7th October 2020.

The “International Education” sector has been seeking a roadmap on how and when the continuing International students and prospective International students can be brought back. The Universities have been pitching to the Government that the International Student fees cover for the research at the institutions and thus there is a need for a strategy to bring back the students “with or without a vaccine”.

However, what has been laid out as a plan is “assuming a vaccine” and the Universities have been allocated additional funding to cover for the shortfall in revenue. The Universities have lost their lobbying point now…

The Universities now need to make up their mind on how they wish to recruit internationally. Students especially those in STEM courses can’t keep studying online or remotely forever. I am aware that some students will be brought back on the pilot flights but do bear in mind that there will be 150,000 students on student visas studying online by the end of the year and the planned pilot flights won’t cover even 10% of them. There is a need for a greater will and there is a need for some innovativeness. International students are the only group of travellers who can arrive and go in for a quarantine.

Australia, make up your mind. World is watching and willing to take the students. If the currently stranded students are brought back by February 2021 and new students can reach by July 2021, we still have hope… or else Australian treasurer should plan to keep allocating greater funds to the Universities over the next many years. International students will desert Australia.

The Treasurer’s speech can be found here.



  1. Pls do something for students stuck in India Their future is in dark they can’t do anything in India being a Australian student


    1. Yes Monika, I can understand your state. There are 6000 visa holders amongst students who are in India and unable to make it to Australia. India is not included in the early pilots being planned. However I do hope that some of the stranded students would be able to travel to Australia in early 2021. This is my hope.


  2. In my observation: the first group that will need to be brought back “before Christmas” will be the Australian Citizen and Residents stranded overseas. To enable that to happen, the caps on arrivals has to go up several fold and possible quarantine exemption for some travellers who are coming from low virus countries. Then will be the travel arrivals for stranded international students (130,000 now) and this will take time considering the quarantine availability. At this same stage, work visa holders could also travel in. Following the students will be business travel and tourists. The problem with this set of travellers is (unlike the students) they will not be keen for the quarantine inclusion in their travel and frankly I don’t see Australia allowing travel without quarantine for sometime.


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