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Australia Recognises Covishield, Sinovac Vaccines As It Prepares To Welcome Back Indian and Chinese Students To Its Universities

Australia Recognises Covishield, Sinovac Vaccines As It Prepares To Welcome Back Indian and Chinese Students To Its Universities

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Indian students aspiring to travel to Australia for higher education and those stuck at home because of travel restrictions can finally hope to get back to campus life in the coming months.

The Australian government announced on Oct. 1 that it is keen to welcome international students, including Indians, again. 

The move came after the country gave recognition to Covishield, the vaccine manufactured and developed by the Serum Institute of India and AstraZeneca. The Therapeutic Goods Administration, the medical regulatory agency of the Australian government, also recognized CoronaVac (Sinovac) besides the four vaccines approved for use in Australia – Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer.

Australia is yet to approve Covaxin, which is manufactured in India by Bharat Biotech.

Besides supporting Australians to return home for those who received these vaccinations overseas, the announcement will allow international students who were vaccinated in countries such as India, China, and Indonesia to enter Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison highlighted that India and China, apart from other countries throughout Southeast Asia, are going to benefit from this decision. He said that when the country moves to the next phase of vaccinating and reopening, which will be happening next year in some states, students can hope to travel to the country.

New South Wales is one state where students and skilled migrants are likely to return sooner. 

Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan, who is on a visit to India, said that this means the “pathway for our Indian international students to return to Australia is there again.” Indian students can expect to return by the end of this year or early next year before the new semester begins in February-March, he added. Australian Trade Minister Dan Tehan, who is on a visit to India, said that this means the “pathway for our Indian international students to return to Australia is there again.” Indian students can expect to return by the end of this year or early next year before the new semester begins in February-March, he added. 

Since 2014, the number of Indian students studying in Oz has increased by 71 percent to over 100,000 students in 2018-19. Indians form the second largest group of international students in the country after the Chinese.

According to Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s 2035 Economic Strategy, the Indian education sector is the most promising one for the country.  

It also suggests that Australia must aim to increase the number of high-potential Indian students at its universities. As per the roadmap, if Australia retains its growth in international student recruitment and is able to achieve its share of Indian students from its peak in 2009-10, Australian education exports to India can register direct revenue to A$12 billion by 2035.

International education, the fourth-biggest export for Australia, was worth over A$40.3 billion in 2019. The 2035 plan also suggests that ‘Brand Australia’ must be repositioned to improve the perception in India of the quality of Australian education. Another important thing to do is to make India a priority market in line with the National Strategy for International Education 2025 and Austrade’s ‘Australia International Education 2025’ initiatives.

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