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Australian Universities

Australian Universities propose Plan for Return of International Students

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The Secure Corridor Framework

International student arrivals to Australia would restart from countries deemed safe and be subject to self-funded quarantine requirements under a plan put to federal and state governments by the elite group of eight universities. The secure corridor framework could allow for students to return in mass subject to strict health checks and with cooperation of government agencies and aviation industry. 

The first step of the framework could allow students currently overseas commencing or renewing their studies by first semester 2021. It would be a “rigorous protocol for selecting eligible source countries” that had contained the spread of COVID-19. Students would be subject to pre-travel isolation and health checks in their home countries and then be flown to Australia with a “trusted Australian carrier”. Afterwards, they would go to designated quarantine accommodation, which they would pay for themselves. Universities would take charge of airport pickups and escort students to the accommodation. 

Universities facing Major Financial Blows

About 120,000 students or 20% of the total international enrolments in Australia have been stranded offshore by the pandemic and travel restrictions. Universities are facing major financial blows, estimated at $3 billion to $4.6 in the next six months as revenue losses deepen in second semester. New analysis from Australian National University higher education researcher Andrew Norton estimated 27 per cent of Australian university research spending is funded by International student fees. 

The government’s road to recovery was released earlier this month and includes the possible return of International students as part of stage three. Health Minister Greg Hunt said universities were welcome to put forward proposals for international student arrivals to restart. “We have indicated we are welcoming of proposals for universities, subject to it being at the same time as their general student population, to look at a means of bringing them back through supervised, stringent quarantine,” he further added. 

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The Educational landscape is changing dynamically. The new generation of students thus faces the daunting task to choose an institution that would guide them towards a lucrative career.

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