International students hoping to return to Australia via the South Australia pilot plan will have to continue to wait for updates. According to the Australia Financial Review, universities are unwilling to move forward due to high ancillary costs. Cost estimations had climbed, and universities were reportedly unwilling to fork out security, nursing and other associated costs.
StudyAdelaide chief executive Karyn Kent told AFR that she could not confirm or comment on delays but that she hoped students would return “in the second half of the year.” “We’re unable to put a definitive date on it at the moment. But we’re still working towards the second half of the year, which I realise we’re in, but that’s still the intention,” Kent was quoted saying.
She said there were many moving parts to the plan, with costs being one aspect of operationalising the plan. “All these things are being given consideration. We’re working really hard with the sector to get this to work,” she said.
Return to Australia: South Australia’s pilot plan
International students are eager to return to Australia to resume on-campus learning. Back in June, South Australia’s pilot plan to bring international students back to the state was approved by the Australian federal government. State Premier Steven Marshall said this would make South Australia the first state to have its pilot plan approved by the Commonwealth. The plan would see up to 160 students a fortnight arrive via chartered flights and quarantine at the Parafield airport.
“International education is a significant part of South Australia’s economy, contributing over two billion Australian dollars in 2019, partly spent with our education providers such as schools and universities, and also providing a boost to our retail, hospitality and tourism sectors,” said Marshall.
“International students add so much to South Australia’s multicultural fabric along with the clear economic benefits for our CBD and our state overall, with every three students leading to the creation of one job — in 2019, almost 20,000 jobs were underpinned by international education, which is massive for our state.”