“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.