International students return to Australia in September pilot program

International students return to Australia in September pilot program

Australia will open its borders for international students to return from September in a pilot program being trialled in South Australia.

The Australian government has announced that it will launch a national pilot program for international students enrolled in the country’s institutions and universities to return to the country from early September.

As part of the national pilot program, South Australia will be the first to reopen its borders to international students, with Adelaide set to welcome around 300 students as part of this scheme.

Last month, Global Education Times reported on the development confirming that current student visa holders studying online outside Australia due to COVID-19 will be able to use that study period to count towards the Australian requirement for a post-study work visa.

Singapore the primary base for Australia international students return

SBS reported that Australian trade minister Simon Birmingham today announced this program would be rolled out to test if a nation-wide return of international students could be possible at a later date.

The primary focus for this pilot program will be students from South East Asia, with plans to fly 300 overseas students from Singapore to Adelaide in early September, with the cohort also expected to include students from some other countries such as Hong Kong, China and Japan.

Mr Birmingham, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, insisted that ‘no taxpayer dollars will be used’ for this pilot scheme.

IEAA welcomes Australia pilot program plan for overseas students

Phil Honeywood, CEO of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA), said:

“IEAA has lobbied very hard for these secure corridor proposals to prove up to the wider Australian community that we can safely proceed to restart this vitally important industry for our nation’s future!

“As a small state with population growth challenges, South Australia has often proved itself to be at the forefront of national policy innovation. Their Premier, Stephen Marshall, has made international education a key priority growth industry for his state. His government’s logo for the sector is “live, learn and stay” which provides clear ‘migration through study’ pathway implications.

“South Australia was the first state to take to National Cabinet a ‘secure corridor’ proposal for a pilot program of returning overseas students to be brought back into Australia. They therefore deserve to be the first state to be endorsed to implement their pilot.”

Mr Honeywood stated that IEAA expects the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory to be the next governments to announce groups of returning international students.

However, because of imminent state elections in the larger states of Queensland and Western Australia, Honeywood added that IEAA is not hopeful that those states will move quickly to follow South Australia’s example.

Mandatory quarantine for students with host institutions footing the bill

As part of this program, all returning international students will be required to undergo a mandatory supervised quarantine for a period of 14 days in a hotel.

South Australian higher education institutions and universities welcoming students back as part of this pilot program have agreed to foot the bill for the return and quarantine of their international students in Australia.

Pic: John Kappa

Hari Srinivasan - Managing Editor, Global Education Times (GET News)

Hari is the Managing Editor of Global Education Times. Hari has clocked nearly a decade working as a communications professional with a focus on the education sector. He has also had stints in journalism and advertising in a career which has seen him live, study, and work, in three countries.
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