In its plan to revive the billion-dollar international education sector which was left devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Victorian Government is set to welcome back international students.
Former Australian Senator and currently the CEO of the Australia India Institute, Lisa Singh tweeted: “Indian students most welcome.”
The University of Melbourne has welcomed the Andrews government’s International Student Arrivals Plan.
This has been endorsed by the Australian Government to provide a safe pathway for a limited number of international students to arrive in Victoria each week.
“These places will be prioritised for university students who urgently need to return to Victoria to do practical work, such as health and medical students, and postgraduate research students.”
This plan will enable international students and graduate researchers to return to the university campuses for the start of the 2022 academic year.
University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Duncan Maskell said he was delighted with the plan.
“We acknowledge the Victorian Government for supporting the safe return of international students and thank the Australian Government for approving the plan.”
According to the latest plan, only a small group of international students will be able to return to the University of Melbourne each week.
Ten vice-chancellors have signed a letter of support for the government’s plans.
University administrators are optimistic that a large proportion of new or returning international students will be studying on campus in 2022.
Professor Michael Wesley, the University of Melbourne’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International), says the plan was a positive outcome for current and prospective students.
“International students and graduate researchers make a significant contribution to university life, and we have badly missed them.”
Deakin University Vice-chancellor Iain Martin told the Age said this plan would send the strongest signal that Australia was opening up to the rest of the world.
“We are delighted there’s a plan and a path forward. Symbolically, it is incredibly important to say to the rest of the world, ‘Australia is open’.”
The universities are working closely with the Victorian Government on specific details of the plan.
International student visa holders enrolled with a Victorian university are encouraged to wait for their respective university to contact them.
“If you have not been contacted, it means you have not been selected yet.”
As per this plan, Victoria’s universities will provide funding towards the additional quarantine places (A$5,000) for students in the first stage of the plan. While students will cover the costs of their flight.
More than 17,000 Indian students are outside while 48,000 are studying inside Australia during the pandemic.
This plan would allow for about 2,100 additional students in Victoria before the first semester.