In the latest news in Australia for students, hundreds of international students could reportedly return to Victoria by the end of the year following the state government’s approval of a plan to revive the 14 billion Australian dollar international education sector that has been badly affected by COVID-19.
Quoting a senior government source, The Age said 120 international students could be permitted to arrive in Victoria per week. Universities could cover the hotel quarantine costs under a plan to be sent to the Commonwealth for approval by the end of the week.
Latest news in Australia for students: What to know about returning to Victoria
According to the source, the state government will initially welcome university students, with TAFE and school students to follow. International students could expect to pay at least A$5,000 for their hotel quarantine, which would normally cost A$3,000 for Australian residents. It would be up to Victorian universities to make individual decisions on whether to recoup or absorb the fees.
Victorian universities have been frustrated with the state government’s lack of planning for the sector and are desperate to welcome international students. Under the scheme approved last week by senior cabinet ministers, international students could return by Christmas if the federal government approves the plan.
According to the Victorian government, for over 10 years, international education has been Victoria’s largest services export industry, generating more than A$70 billion for the economy in that time. In 2019, the sector generated A$13.7 billion in export revenue for the state, while international education also supported almost 79,000 Victorian jobs in 2018.
“Currently, Victoria accounts for almost one third (32.3%) of Australia’s onshore international students and over the past two decades almost one million international students have graduated from a Victorian school, TAFE, college or university,” it said on its website.
In 2019, Victoria attracted over 250,000 international students to its shores, with many originally hailing from the Asia Pacific region, including around 88,000 student enrolments from China, 68,000 from India, 14,700 from Malaysia, 13,000 from Vietnam, and 12,000 from Nepal.
Before the pandemic, Victoria had more international school students than any other state or territory. The loss of hundreds of thousands of international students under Australia’s border closures had cost the national economy A$18 billion, according to analysis conducted for The Age.
Other related latest news in Australia for students include Australia considering China’s Sinovac vaccine a “recognised vaccine” for incoming travellers. The agency also considers Covidshield Astra Zeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India as a “recognised” vaccine by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.