As the COVID-19 pandemic persists in the second year, top study destinations Australia and New Zealand are written off the list, according to most student recruitment agents.
Australia’s borders remain closed. The Australian Government Department of Health announced that all travelers with a history of visit to India 14 days before their departure will be denied entry into the country before May 15. Only those who will be given entry pass are Australian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members and travelers who have been inside New Zealand and Tokelau at least 14 days before departure.
New Zealand also has a strict border rule especially from individuals coming from high-risk countries such as Brazil, India, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea. Citizens and their immediate family members will be allowed entry. However, they can only do so if they first spend at least 14 days from a low-risk country prior to entry.
Both Australia and New Zealand are the countries with controlled COVID-19 cases. As such, these countries are reluctant in welcoming international arrivals. This can have a significant impact on their international student recruitment efforts. Agents believe that Australia and New Zealand can lose their footing as top study destinations for international students.
According to the Navitas Agent Perception Research, agents are no longer confident that these two countries will be a preferred destination. Only 4% welcome the possibility of travel to either of the countries. While many consider other countries with high certainty, including travel to Canada (39%) or the UK (45%), they fear that by the time Australia and New Zealand welcome students by early 2022, many of them may have considered studying in Canada or the UK.
Australian education minister Alan Tudge is very hopeful that most foreign students can return to the universities by the first semester of 2022, while vaccines are being rolled out.
The same goes for New Zealand education minister, Chris Hipkins. He said, “The reality is it’s just not possible to do that without significantly increasing the risk.” New Zealand is not keen in allowing international arrivals as it may taint the clean slate the country has during the COVID-19 pandemic.
MSM Unify is your AI-powered student resource platform for students, agents, and higher education institutions (HEIs) in Australia, New Zealand, and worldwide. Subscribe now to get the latest updates about international education.