What’s the latest on Australia international student news? Here’s a summary of what we know:
Australia international student news: ACT needs clear reopening plan
The ACT government recently announced that they will welcome back international tertiary education students who are fully vaccinated with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recognised COVID-19 vaccine for the start of the 2022 academic year, but no firm date has been released just yet.
The territory government will not submit a final plan for international students to return to the federal government, and is working off the expectation that international borders will reopen by the beginning of the next academic year, reported The Canberra Times.
“The ACT government is working on the expectation the international border will be open in 2022,” an ACT government spokesperson was quoted saying in a statement. “If the Australian government requires a formal plan for the return of students in 2022, we will work with the tertiary sector on submitting one, noting any requirements will be those set by the Australian government.”
International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) chief executive Phil Honeywood told the daily that international students wanting to get back to Canberra had been left in the dark without a return plan.
“By choosing not to do that, the ACT government has gone outside of the national cabinet-agreed process and really is on a wing and a prayer that that process won’t count when borders magically open for the whole of Australia,” he was quoted saying.
“Whereas at least in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and now Queensland, they can really see that there is a staged opening happening,” he said.
Other Australian states: updates
In other Australia international student news, currently, four Australian states have submitted their plans with the federal government. NSW and Victoria are scheduled to bring back a small group of international students by the end of the year.
The University of Melbourne said it welcomes the Victorian government’s International Student Arrivals Plan which will enable international students and graduate researchers to return to campus for the start of the 2022 academic year.
“We acknowledge the Victorian government for supporting the safe return of international students and thank the Australian government for approving the plan,” said the university’s vice-chancellor Duncan Maskell.
“Initially, the plan allows for the return of a small group of international students to the University of Melbourne each week, but the pace of announcements relating to borders reopening is incredibly positive. I am optimistic that a large proportion of new or returning international students will be studying on campus in 2022.”
For Australia international student news on Western Australia, students are still not expected to return soon. While international travel has resumed for NSW residents as of November 1, Western Australia has continued to maintain a hard border stance.
WA Premier Mark McGowan was quoted saying by news.com.au that WA’s vaccination rates would need to reach a “very high” level before travellers would be allowed into the state from NSW, Victoria and overseas.